Stay-at-Home Panda

Stay-at-Home Panda

An adventure of triumphs and troubles as a mother, wife, and woman

20 Things I Love About You at Six

I’ll never forget the day you were born, making me a mom. I remember feeling like I knew you forever before I even looked at you, and when I did finally lay eyes on you, I fell into a deep, deep love. A love that made me want to hold you all night and all day long, even though I was afraid the hospital nurses would yell at me for sleeping with you. A love that made me creep down the hall looking for you when you were taken for a hearing test. A love that made me cry when they pricked you little foot for blood. A love so crazy, so fierce, and eternal.

I’ve seen you transform from a newborn, sleeping with your hands up by your ears, to an infant sitting in a stroller for the first time without a car seat adapter. Your legs just hung there, bent at 90 degree angles, like a big boy, and I just couldn’t get over it. I remember the pride I felt at watching you walk with the help of a push toy. We lived in a tiny apartment, so I’d take you to Daddy’s school to get your strides in. Everyone oooooh-ed and awwwwww-ed and giggled. Everything you did was amazing, and well, it still is.

You’re not a baby anymore, not even a toddler, and sometimes when I look at your long body lie there in bed I can’t believe we’ve been doing this together for six years. It feels like just yesterday you were trying to pop a nipple out of my shirt in the check out lane of King Kullen. You’re continuing to grow, and although you’ll always be you, the phases and stages will pass with the years. SO on your SIXTH birthday, here are 20 things I love about you:

  1. You must draw everyday. I think you have a gift, but then again, I’m your mother, and I may be biased… But for real, I’m pretty sure you have a gift.
  2. You want to go fishing with with “just Daddy”, and I appreciate that because I don’t want to go fishing anyways. I remember the days I couldn’t even get a haircut without you screaming for me, so I’m not offended. 
  3. Instead of saying, “I’m in the lead,” you say, “I’m in the league.” It’s awesome. Which one??
  4. You’re fun and all, and crack lots of jokes, but you’re also really serious. Like when you do karate or get to be a ring bearer. You told us a ring bearer has two jobs: look handsome and be quiet. #nailedit 
  5. At Christmas time, you were learning the 12 Days of Christmas song with your class. My favorite was the second say when you sang about your true loving giving you two turtle dougs. Things don’t need to make sense…
  6. Speaking of Christmas, you just couldn’t get enough decor. You even had me looking at those terrible blow up lawn decorations. You bought a mini tree for your nightstand in October which you hung ornaments on, and once I busted out the tubs from storage I pretty much left the house-decorating to you. Of course, you never thought there was enough, and always let me know we needed more lights, more lights, more lights. I left the gift wrapping up to you too… 
  7. Before I stray from the topic, you asked me to decorate the house for your birthday, and I don’t know what I love more: your attention to detail or the fact you know exactly what you want. I wrapped your presents in gold paper with gold ribbon, because that’s your thing. You’re the kinda kid who has white as a favorite color and wants his gifts in gold on gold.
  8. You’re such a good brother. Of course you and Ash bicker and whack each other but the other day we were driving in the car and you said, “I love you Ash. Sometimes you’re hard but I’m glad you’re my brother. You’re really funny and kind.” You could tell Ash was absolutely touched by your compliment and he thanked you. Then you apologized for any time you hurt his feelings. You said, “If I ever hurt your feelings, I’m sorry. You’re perfect.”
  9. These types of conversations between the two of you aren’t even uncommon. Often, you guys wake up, share a toilet, and mid-stream, right as your pee crosses paths, one of you will say, “I love you. I’m so happy you’re my brother.” And it redeems everything.  
  10. In a quiet car ride you’ll say, “Sometimes I can’t believe I’m a person.” It might sounds like a crazy notion, but I do know exactly what you mean. Sometimes I can’t believe I’m a person either! Isn’t life crazy?! Sometimes you’ll take this further and say things like, “I’m happy to be alive but I want to know the whole universe.” Sounds like you’re either really deep or watching too much Kung Fu Panda… 
  11. One of my favorite things you’ve said this past year is, “I just never knew you’d be my mom.” I told you I never could have imagined it either. You asked me what it’s like to be a mom and I said amazing. Then you said you think the best thing in the world is family. 
  12. Recently, when we were driving home from school, I was asking you about your classmates. There was one you said you didn’t really like. When I asked you why, you said, “I don’t know, but I do know that he’s good and perfect because everyone is. I just don’t see it yet.” You totally owned not liking him as your issue, and there’s wisdom in that. 
  13. Sometimes you still ask to sit on my lap, and when you do I drop everything and dart towards the couch.
  14. You remind me of my own lessons, like to get quiet and listen to angels for guidance when upset and to know that you’re perfect even when you’re not feeling it.
  15. When we fuss at each other, you’re often the one who says, “Wanna press the reset button?” (I think you’ve heard Daddy and I do this a couple times before.) This morning you woke up earlier than usual, which means, you better at least be well-rested and happy if you’re getting me out of bed on a Saturday before the sun. But no, you started complaining about this and that, and I told you to go back to bed. You did, and from under the sheets you said, “Wanna just press the reset button?” Then you came over and made my pointer finger touch yours, like E.T., phoning home.
  16. You love to cook, or at least bake.
  17. When I ask you what the best part of your school day was you say, “Seeing you.” And you’re very matter-of-fact and serious about it.
  18. You have a mature taste in music. You’re the one who introduced me to the Lumineers by randomly asking me to play that song that goes, “O- O- phelia..” and every time I sing the lyrics wrong, you correct me. I always say, “You’ve been on my mind girl, since the storm…” And you say, “Not ‘storm,’ Mom! Flood! Since the flood!” I assure you that I’ll be singing lyrics wrong for the rest of my life. I hope this doesn’t deter you from taking me to concerts with you one day.
  19. You love trinkets, and have a more serious necklace collection than I do. When we travel somewhere new, you just want to know if they have a market. Speaking of which, you’re an awesome traveler.                                                                      
  20. You have an amazing way of complimenting others. You greet people at our front door, and let them know you’re happy they came without even being prompted. If you overhear someone talking about self-doubt you’ll set them straight. I’ll never forget the day you told one of my friends who was sad about dropping her daughter off somewhere else, “You really are a great mom. Really. You should feel good. ”                                                                                                                                                                                                   Tonight as you got ready to go to bed, I told you, “Tonight is your last time ever going to bed as a five year old.” You smiled to the side and said, “Tomorrow I’ll go to bed a six year old.” And the pride I saw on your face for simply being six, is another one of the million things I love about you, just as you are, now. 

About Amanda Elder

Amanda has a background in education, but now spends most of her time snuggling her kids, wiping their butts, and doing house chores in her underwear.


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