My daughter turned 5 on April 22, and for some reason I had a hard time processing her growth. She’s my middle child, so why was I feeling this way? Taj will be 8 soon. Why didn’t I feel this way when he turned 5?
To be completely honest, sometimes I forget how old Taj is, until I look at his long legs. Although Taj’s chronological age is almost 8, his cognitive and physical development is that of an 18 month old, or younger depending on the activity.
Now don’t get me wrong, he understands everything you say and what’s going on around him. He just has an inability to express himself with words making a sound out of his mouth.
Taj spent his 5th birthday in the hospital. On Friday, June 12, 2015, Taj went to his PreK graduation and slept the whole time. He was on stage with his classmates knocked out and unbothered. He wouldn’t even pull anyone’s hair or necklaces as they bent down to hug him. If you know Taj, you know he likes to pull hair and necklaces.
By that Sunday morning, the 14th, he woke up with blue lips and hands. I knew he had pneumonia based on previous experience. We took him to the ER, which always ends up in an impatient stay, and this time was no different.
Monday, June 15th, it’s Taj’s 5th birthday, and he’s in the hospital. At least he’s smiling and not struggling to to breathe anymore. I just don’t like being in the hospital, AND it’s his birthday. His 5th birthday at that.
So fast forward to last week when Zoe turned 5. I just kept hugging her and telling her I can’t believe she’s 5. She must have been tired of me because by the end of the night she finally asked me why I’m so excited she’s 5. I explained to her the best way I could for her 5 year old brain to process.
I never want Zoe to think I overlook Taj because of his disability. My husband and I teach Zoe and Kai to treat Taj like the older brother that he is. They play with him, talk to him, and love on him. It’s so cute!
But I did realize that I was putting a lot of emphasis on her 5th birthday. I had to stop and reflect on Taj’s life. He may not be walking, talking, and running around the house like a mad man, but dang it he’s 2 years away from being 10. Then I really started feeling the “my kids are growing up too fast” heartburn. I remember when I turned 10. It was a big deal to hit double digits, and my oldest will be there in 2 years.
I was losing it over Zoe turning 5 and then I look at my Daddy Longlegs and see how far he’s come in 8 years. It’s not the same accolades as a typical kid, but considering where Taj has come from he’s made a lot of progress.
Then to top this last week off, Zoe has her first lose tooth. I mean, her permanent tooth is almost halfway in and she just told me. Parents always say that your kids grow up fast. You blink and they’re graduating high school.
I’ll soon have an 8, 5, and 2 year old. Where are my babies!?! Oh well, my womb has gone out of business. I’m going to enjoy raising these beautiful children God has given me. They work my last nerve but I love them sooooo much.
Are there any moms and dads out there experiencing this feeling of not wanting your kids to grow up too fast? Please tell me I’ll be ok. I don’t want baby fever to creep up on me, lol. Please share how you cope with your kids growing up right before your eyes.
Sending love and hope your way!