Six

When I was One,
I had just begun.
When I was Two,
I was nearly new.
When I was Three
I was hardly me.
When I was Four,
I was not much more.
When I was Five, I was just alive.
But now I am Six, I’m as clever as clever,
So I think I’ll be six now for ever and ever.

A.A. Milne, Now We Are Six

Ciarán, our firstborn, the one who made us parents  turned six last week. I’ve been coming to terms with it for a while.

I accepted five much more easily. Six sounds so much more substantial than five.

I never really realised how big six is. Not just how tall or strong, but how “with it”, how grown up and how independent. He needs us less and less, but when he needs us, he really needs us.

When he was younger, people always used to say how time flies when they’re little and to enjoy it.  I’d smile while trying to hide that fact that I was flinching,  feeling the long days and the sleepless nights. Now, reluctantly I realise that they were right. It has flown. It seems like no length ago that he was a helpless newborn yet there’s nothing helpless about him anymore.

I look at my biggest boy, tall and strong, enthusiastic and energetic, creative, sensitive and compassionate. He’s our best bits. He’s only six, the whole world is out there for him to explore, and he’s busy planning places that he’ll go when he’s a grownup- like New York and China and the Moon. He completely believes that he will, and who knows, he might.

Six is losing innocence and gaining knowledge, learning so quickly, reading, soaking it all up, and catching his parents out with the questions he asks that we can’t answer. Six is climbing high, testing boundaries and being very, very loud.

But Six is only six too, wide-eyed and ready to be amazed, not yet world weary, ready to explore.

Six is thinking that fart jokes and saying “bottom” and “naked” are the funniest things ever, and that One Direction and Katy Perry are the best singers in the UNIVERSE (the Electric Picnic indoctrination clearly isn’t working). Six is being passionate to the point of tears about his county in the hurling, dramatic to the end. Six knows his mind (and has done since he was one) but can express it all now, picking up vocabulary from his beloved Roald Dahl books. He’s a “meddlesome mackerel” himself.

Being Six is just fantastic…see? I’m off to prepare myself for Seven, it’ll take getting used to, but he won’t be six forever and ever.

Ci is six

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