I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
April 10, 2011
I can say without hesitation that I’ve seen more changes in you during this past year than any other.
You had so many firsts as a six-year-old. You graduated from kindergarten. You got your first (and, um, second, although you didn’t know it!) goldfish. You went on your first blogcation and made a new friend.
Your first year of school created endless dilemmas for me as a mom. I worried over lying about the nature of your absences and suffered agonies over a horrible swim instructor who let you sink to the bottom of the pool, ruining your excitement about learning to swim. I freaked out when you weren’t invited to a friend’s birthday party extravaganza and I agonized over having to get (practically) naked in front of a bunch of fully-clothed parents in order for you to go to a birthday party you were invited to. I prayed you’d turn out to be a nerd and I fretted about the girls in your grade starting clubs. I also turned the both of us into a pair of Daisy Scout dropouts. Sorry about that.
Despite my concerns, I shouldn’t have worried. You were doing just fine. Better than fine, actually. At six, your brain went into overdrive. You started the year reading simple picture books and by the end of the year, you were reading chapter books written for fourth graders. Your vocabulary grew along with your reading skills and I loved it when you began peppering your speech with ‘advanced’ words you’d learned from your books. You asked questions about everything, from anyone who would answer you and chose your own topics of study from the library each week, just for fun. You amazed me with your intellect and your confidence.
But as much as you learned at six, I really believe you taught me even more. You showed me how to worship God, without worrying what others think. You demonstrated the poignant art of crying tears of joy.
You taught me to dance, rather than remain on the sidelines wishing I had the courage to join in. You taught me to appreciate all I have– because I COULD be naked. With no lights. You reminded me that I’m still a princess, just like you.
You also taught me about loving your brother as yourself. Your little brother is your best friend and you do everything you can to make his life better. Even on the morning of your seventh birthday, when Bruiser cried because he had to take his bath first, you quickly intervened. “I’ll go first,” you said, comforting him. “It’s my birthday and I want everyone to be happy.” That’s my girl.
I tried to help fill your sixth year with laughter and fun, Punky, and I hope the year brings you many wonderful memories as you grow older. We did so many things together while you were six. We picked pumpkins and went to fall festivals. We had impromptu backyard parties with neighborhood friends. We began our daily One Hour of Girl Power. We went to the zoo. We started some wonderful new Christmas traditions that I hope you’ll continue with your own children some day. We went on winter walks, where we dealt with braying wildebeests.
“You know what I love about Punky?” a mom said to me recently. “She still enjoys being a little girl.” I knew exactly what she meant. While other girls your age wear Justin Bieber tattoos and think The Wonderpets are for babies, you really enjoy being a child and have no desire to grow up too fast. You still believe in Santa Claus and the Elf on the Shelf. You won’t watch the tween shows on Disney or Nickelodeon. You love dressing up in costumes. You’re happy to play with smaller children on our street or at the Y when girls your own age can’t be found.
I treasure every moment of this time. I know it can’t last.
It sounds so… old.
Happy Birthday, Punky. This one made me cry a little.