Wednesday, May 09, 2007

no more babies

Bernie has her fifth birthday today. Here she's holding Felicity, the American Girl doll she's been longing for for about a year. We finally gave in and got if for her. Nana sent the dress and guitar. We really enjoy reading the American Girl books together. Bernie has a good attention span for it. She'll listen to an entire book at once, which is probably nearly an hour of reading. I don't know exactly, I haven't timed it.
Yesterday was a tough day for me. Many of you know that my favorite child age is four. I love that age. It's been a sweet, magical year with each of my children. I love all of my children before they turn four and after they've turned five, but that year in between is special. They are so excited about everything. There are constant discoveries. They are fairly independent and not as demanding as a two- or three-year old, but they still love Mummy. Mummy walks on water. They are not too busy to cuddle. And they say the most hilarious and touching things.
As far as things look right now, I will not have another four-year old. Yesterday I mourned. I did my usual "pretend cry," a tradition with every one of my children's birthdays. The day before the birthday I will suddenly pretend to burst into tears and moan, "The last breakfast with my eight-year-old girl!" These outbursts continue thoughout the day. My older kids roll their eyes, but they love it. Well, yesterday I didn't have to pretend. I was really crying! Bernie comforted me, saying, "Even when I'm five I will still cuddle you, Mommy" and sometimes, "Please let me turn five, Mom. I want to go to kindergarten!" and then "It's good for me to go to school because you want me to learn Spanish, don't you?" The last was said with a tilted head, lifted eyebrows, and knowing smile.
Even the older kids, who see Bernie as hopelessly little, recognize the importance of this birthday. Yesterday Lidia said, "But now we won't have any babies in the house!"
No, indeed.


Mallory said...

Ahhhh, 'tis a sadness only a mother knows. Well, cheer up! Just keep in mind that the faster they grow up the sooner you can have 4-year-old grandchildren, and you're bound to have many more of those than of 4-year-old children!

ave said...

Sniff, I know how you feel. I thought B's birthday was the 12th, Happy Birthday Bernita.

Mark and Carla said...

omg I know exactly how you feel! I loved my 3 and 4 year olds! Old enough to talk to, play games with, go places with, but young enough to still be filled with so much silliness, spontaneous affection, and wonder. With all my kids, it's the age when the whole Santa thing is so real and such a big deal.

I have never really cared for babies. I loved my children, but alway celebrated the milestones that meant leaving that stage behind--crawling, walking, talking, etc.

I loved Bernie's response--so practical!

btw--the word verification is orneiy--which is almost like "ornery"--which describes my kids so often at any age!

Karen ~ said...

I got tears in my eyes reading your post. For me, the magic-est time is about 6 mos - 21 mos. If I could have frozen them there for 5 years and then jumped to 8 or 9 ... I would be in heaven! I would gladly take any future children of Carla for the first 2-3 years. That is my favorite.

Mark and Carla said...

Not even for that promise, Karen...with any future children issue from these loins!