My Little O

Today is Little O’s 5th birthday. My littlest lovely.

I try really hard not to gush and go on ad nauseum about my kids. I love them so much, the thought of living in a world without them is too much to bare. But I don’t always want to share them with you. I also don’t think that they should ever feel as though they’ve been objectified or defined but what I’ve written about them.

As a parent, I worry about what we’re doing right and wrong in raising them. Looking at how other people parent; trying to glean the clever actions and weed out the negative particulars. What works for one family, may not work for another. There are actions that get right under the skin of one parent, while rolling right off the sleeve of the other parent.  What might be a priority in parenting for me, might not be true for you. I guess I don’t want to feel the wrath of judgement from others either.

At times I struggle against parenting like my own parents, not that they did a terrible job, but just like gleaning the best qualities from other parents, I too want to glean the best parts of my parents’ parenting. This won’t come as any surprise to the folks who are close to me, but I come from a family of sarcastic know-it-alls, and with this comes incredibly judgmental comments. I don’t want my children to be overly critical of others, or to be overly critical of themselves (to the point by which they are constantly hitting self-made walls, cinderblocks filled with self-loathing, built using a foundation of guilt). I don’t want them to feel that kind of shame. Do you know that kind of shame? It goes down deep, and doesn’t help anyone. Sometimes I don’t recognize the actions until after the point has been uttered, and it is too late to take it back. It is a process, realization, keeping the ego in check.

Damn, being a parent is hard work, most days I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Some things are phases, and  the children will outgrown them, we are fortunate, because others have children that may never outgrow behaviours. Relative to others, we have had a fairly good go of it so far. That doesn’t mean that we’re living on easy street or that things couldn’t be a little lighter at times. Will keep plugging away, trying to do my best and work at being a good role model.

I’m proud of my children. They are turning into fine little creatures. So far, so good.

We’re going to have a fun year. Do you remember being five? I sure do. Becoming a big kid, holding onto the beauty of innocence. The games, the friends, the endless hours of play, the deepest of sleeps, and most vivid of dreams. The magic of beginning primary school – and the awkwardness of the transition away from being a home full time. Discovering that the world is bigger than your house and family, but still not realizing that your parents don’t know exactly what you’re doing at all times.

My baby is five. My baby is fine.

I got this book when I was four, and couldn’t wait to be five – this was the first poem in Garbage Delight, by Dennis Lee & Illustrations by Frank Newfeld

Being Five 

I’m not exactly big,
And I’m not exactly little,
But being Five is best of all
Because it’s in the middle.

A person likes to ride his bike
Around the block a lot,
And being Five is big enough
And being Four is not.

And then he likes to settle down
And suck his thumb a bit,
And being Five is small enough,
But when you’re Six you quit.

I’ve thought about it in my mind –
Being Five, I mean –
And why I like it best of all
Is ’cause it’s In Between.

Garbage Delight. Toronto: Macmillan, 1977. Ill. Frank Newfeld


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