George Turns SIX

Every year I have this avoidance to George turning another year older. I mean didn’t we just celebrate one? I ask myself how can this be?

But here we are, six years old.

Not that I am a seasoned parent or by any means an expert at anything with motherhood, however George has taught me a lot by making me a mom.

In honor of his sixth birthday today, here are six things that I have learned from my first born.

  • Imagination is not to be fooled with.

This kid comes up with the most creative creations. He is really good at coming up with storylines and rethinking how to use things. His room is a total mess, which is something I have to let go of because he had dreamed up that he built a fort, a railway, or channels for a boat system. Things are not always what they seem. He has taught me so much about looking beyond the confines of normalcy and not sticking within the lines. I need to be able to let him loose with his ideas and hold on to his plans for creations because that will serve him well later on in life.

  • There is always reason to celebrate.

George is always ready to party. He loves ALL holidays and relishes in decorating our house with all the things. He is always asking what the next holiday is, and you can see his eyes just gleam from the excitement. He also is just so excited about the little things. He loves to create opportunities to rejoice in the day to day things. And he is so appreciative of the celebrations. “Treat yo’ self” is his mantra. And celebrations always bring on sugary treats, which are always necessary!

  • A hug is always a good remedy.

If anyone knows me well, they know that I am not a hugger. These are reserved for very few folks in my life, and I will not usually volunteer to do them. However, this kid has melted me down. He is the best hugger ever. And touch has got to be one of his love languages, because he gives about a million hugs a day. In our embraces we have so many meaningful moments. Sometimes they are breakthroughs from arguments and power struggles. Sometimes they are to comfort us when we are sad to just let someone know we are there. Sometimes they are just to remind each other of our immense love for one another. It is hard to not feel some goodness when you have your arms wrapped around someone else. They have definitely been mood stabilizers for us over the last six years. Hugs are George’s love currency.

  • Plans are not always what they are cracked up to be.

George has been “lovingly” reminding us lately that “sometimes plans change, and that’s ok.” This is honestly one of the biggest lessons for me as someone who loves to have a plan and a list at hand. Plans are my way to control things. If there is anything about parenthood that is constant is that plans are going to change. Literally from the moment George was conceived, things are not as I planned them. I didn’t imagine finding out that I was pregnant at a fertility specialist. I didn’t plan on delivering my baby 3 weeks early and having to deal with the NICU. I didn’t plan on littering my house with Legos. But things happen, and that’s ok. I have had to learn a lot about acceptance and letting things be as they may instead of trying to predict and control it all. George is also not a kid who is easily controlled for he often has plans of his own that do not align with mine…

  • Patience

And that leads us to patience. What parent doesn’t say that they have learned patience with parenting? Or better yet, it has showed me how impatient I really am. Along the same lines as the plans, I have to remember that I cannot make George make the decisions that I want him to. He is becoming his own person. And with that he has to make mistakes and make messes of things so he can learn for the next time. It’s these moments that it could be so easy for me to just swoop in and make things happen or to banish him to his room because I just can’t take it anymore. I have to give him opportunities to make his own decisions even if they aren’t the ones that I think are best. It’s the only way he will learn how to work with others, do chores, or clean up his own mistakes. I cannot be a fixer all the time or just yell at him for not putting away his clothes for the millionth time. Patience and prayer my friends.

  • I have learned the most about love.

I thought I knew a lot about what love should be and could be. But until I had George, I never really knew the magnitude of what love could do to you as a being. I mean I love Tom, but there is something about a kid that changes every piece of who you are. There is more love than I could ever imagine. And a lot of that is because of who George is. He loves so immensely and with his whole little body that it is hard not to want to experience that with him. He has taught me that true love means forgiveness and letting things go. He has taught me that true love sometimes also means tough love and not letting you off the hook when you are wrong. He taught me that I don’t have to be perfect to be loved so fully. He has taught me so much about filling other people’s cups and being thoughtful with my interactions. He has taught me that love is a safe place to snuggle into at the end of the day. George is love through and through. And being loved by him is nothing short of magical.

Y’all this boy is everything that I never knew I needed. He is funny, smart, witty, and just a delight to be around. He is a ray of sunshine that just loves everyone around him so fully. He is confident and unapologetically himself ALL THE TIME. I love how he brings out the goofy in all of us, and the energy he exudes helps you to feel freedom when you are with him.

Although some day I do hope that he stops wearing his clothes inside out and backwards…Just saying.

Yesterday I asked him what he wanted to do on his last day as a five year old. He told me that there wasn’t anything left to do and that he was ready to be six. I responded with asking what he was excited about with being six, and he told me he was ready to go to school. So we have a big year ahead of us with Kindergarten on the horizon, and then becoming a big brother again to our newest little dude. I can’t wait to see what shenanigans he gets us into this year.

Happy Birthday Georgie Man. We love you big kid!

George Gabs

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George is always saying something that either sends us into a fit of laughter, or I am just in shock at how he little brain is working.

Here are just a few I have made note of.

Every night we spend some time processing the day and praying for help. This night we were praying for Jesus to help George as he struggles to share with his sister.

George-I think I hear Jesus.

Me-Oh yea? What is he saying?

George-I don’t know. Where is he?

Me-He lives in your heart, and mommy’s heart.

George. Yes Jesus isn’t a person, he is a present.

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George was cupping is hand weird, so I asked him what he was holding.

George-There is something wrong with my hand. 

Me-Oh yea? 

George-It’s a little tired. 

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Me-What do you want for lunch, George? 

George-Nothing. I don’t want to eat today. 

Me-Well you have to eat to grow. 

George-Well I only grow on Thursdays. 

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We were watching the Daniel Tiger episode where he was getting shots to prepare the kids for their shots.

George-Sometimes those shots hurt. But I just close my eyes and think of you, Mommy. 

Another heart warming moment was with Tom.

George-You fill my tummy with hearts. 

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We have a lot of fun stories of George procrastinating bed time and reading.

George-Mom, I have a hard time going to sleep because I just have so many books around me. I just love to read them all. 

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Another time…

George-I am going to read you a book. 

Me-Ok great. 

George as he looks at me with puppy eyes-Say the words when I turn the page. 

Me-That’s me reading, not you reading. 

George-No that’s sharing, and sharing is kind. 

Kids are gross. I asked George to blow his nose, and he wouldn’t so I lovingly helped him wipe his nose. He was so distraught that I took a booger.

George-I need to put them back. My nose is their home, and they have friends in there to keep them company. 

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Then sometimes they have wisdom. This statement was one of his late night bed time rambles that was out of the blue.

George-Everybody makes mistakes. It’s ok. Everyone makes them. Astronauts, Ava, everybody. They just happen all the time. You just try again, and then you’ll feel happy. 

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This kid also LOVES Christmas. He is the new Buddy the Elf.

Me-Do you know what is after 4th of July? 

George-What?

Me-Your Birthday

George-Then its CHRISTMAS! I love Christmas!

His birthday is in August…

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George-I love the four seasons: Summer, fall, Christmas, and winter. 

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This last summer our area suffered from some severe floods, which is the first time George has seen anything like that. We talked a lot about how floods happened and the affects of them. In our outings we kept seeing the waters change and get farther inland from the river.

George-Is our house going to be ok?

Us-Yes, we live high on a hill. 

George-Is Ms. Kim’s school (his preschool) going to be ok? 

Us-It should be. 

At this point, George is in tears. 

George-Is McDonald’s going to be ok? 

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And I saved my favorite for last.

George-Mommy, I have a big poop. It’s as big as a blue whale, but it might act like a shark whale. 

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Ahhh kids.

 

We’re Going to Be Okay

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This week we sent our little man off to school for the first time. George started preschool, and it was an emotional event for us all.

You see, George has never been in a school setting. He has been at home with my mom for the last two years and in an in-home care setting his first three years.

While we love him being at home, we knew that he needed to have some practice with the structure before he goes to Kindergarten. (In Missouri, the cutoff for Kindergarten is to be five by August 1st. Since he is late August, he will be 6 when he starts Kindergarten. I could write a whole other post why this is completely fine by us that he will have another year to mature before going to a full day of school.)

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My anxiety has been rearing it’s ugly head all week in the anticipation of letting him go.

  • What if he hates school?
  • What if he doesn’t make friends?
  • Will he remember to use his manners?
  • Will he eat food with strangers?
  • Will he remember to tell the teacher if he needs to go the bathroom?
  • Or will he forget he is in public and try to pee outside on the playground?
  • What if he stands in line like he does at gymnastics?
  • What if, what if, what if?

I felt like I was losing control in so many ways.

We read a lot of books about school. We talked about all the fun things he would do. We pumped up all the benefits and rewards of school.

However, I wasn’t the only one with anxiety. George also didn’t feel ready.

Every time we brought up school, he would start crying and say he didn’t want to leave the house. We would drive by the school, and he would tell me he wasn’t going to go.

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Then we went to meet the teacher. Oh boy. I literally had to drag George into the school and then through the halls to the class. He dug in his heels the whole way.

He started breaking down, but eventually we got him into the room with the toy stations. Then I had an emotional breakdown as I was explaining how he has been at home…in front of his teacher.

We are two peas in a pod for sure.

His teacher is a gem, and we couldn’t be luckier to have her help us transition into this.

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I just am really struggling with this age and transition. He isn’t my baby anymore. And it doesn’t make it easier that he is also having a lot of anxiety about it. I guess we are playing off of each other of not wanting to let go.

But here comes the first day of school.

He skipped proudly to the car with his new backpack.

He found his cubby and chair with ease.

He didn’t have any tears until right before Tom and I left.

However there was a moment as we were standing in line waiting for the bell to signal us into the room that will stick with me for the rest of my life.

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A little girl came with big alligator tears, bubbling to her mom, “I wanna go home. I don’t wanna be here.” This was the scene I thought we were going to have so I had all the sympathy for this mom.

Then my sweet little five year old, in this very crowded hallway, walked towards this new classmate that he has never met . He says confidently to her, “It’s ok. I was a little shy too. We are gonna be ok.”

My heart exploded, and it was all I could do to not start sobbing myself.

My five year old is ready.

Yes, it is going to be scary.

Yes, there is a lot of unknown.

Yes, it is like my heart is breaking every time we drop him off.

Yes, I have lost some control.

But he is becoming his own little person, and a good little person at that.

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It was a nudge that I needed to look at my what ifs in a different way.

  • What if he makes a forever friend?
  • What if he never wants to leave school because he is having so much fun?
  • What if he learns to try new foods because he sees his friends eating?
  • What if he starts washing his hands regularly instead of just making bubbles in the sink?
  • What if he is the one in class to set an example on kindness?
  • What if, what if, what if?

This was a God moment to remind me we are ready, and we are gonna be ok.

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How did you feel on your kid’s first day of school? Does it get easier as they get older?

 

 

George Turns Five

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George,

I can hardly believe that five years ago we were meeting face to face. There is something about you turning five that I am really struggling with as your mom. It is like the start of the end of you being all mine. This being a whole hand has me reeling about the fact that things are changing for us.

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This last year has been a learning experience for us all. Since your last birthday, you have been finding your big kid voice (in volume and in content). With that has come some struggles from all parties, but I am also so proud that you believe in yourself 110%. While it can be super frustrating to argue with you, I know that you are just trying to navigate your little world and make it just a little bigger around you. You also demand attention in a way that I know you will never be forgotten in whatever circle you find yourself in.

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I admire you so much Georgie. You move through your day with such conviction. You know exactly what you want out of each moment, and you will move mountains to seize the day. You already have your own principles that you stick to. When I was your age (and much past), I was such a rule follower and tried to stay hidden in the “norm.” But not you. You, my dear boy, are anything but conventional and live to be different. You are just confident in who you are already at five, and you aren’t afraid to just be George. I love that you are a tad wild, even though it scares the poop out of me most days.

There are pieces of you that are still a little boy, and I will take every snuggle and kiss that I can. You still love for me to carry you down in the morning, and I wonder every day if it is the last day for me to hold you close like that. You are getting so big; big enough that people mistake you for a kindergartner or first grader all the time.

I wish I could bottle up your energy. You are in constant motion or emphatically screaming a monologue for all the world to hear. You feel every emotion at the highest level possible. You can be exhausting, but I wouldn’t change your enthusiasm for anything.

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Your little brain amazes me by all the big things that it does. You are so funny. You have one liners just like your daddy, and I love that you make us laugh every single day. Your imagination has kept you up way past your bedtime as you create carnivals, constructions sites, and live out rescue missions. But you don’t live in fantasy all the time; you also retain facts like I can’t believe. The things you know about science astounds me. You love to learn and create, and I cannot wait for all the adventures you will have this year in school.

I love that you believe that everyone is your cousin, and that we are all family. It’s a little reminder to me that God is speaking through you that we should all love one another like family. You often tell me that you love your friends even if you have only known them for short periods of time. You love so fiercely, and being loved by you is truly a gift.

I know that you were born to do great things. Just the other day, we were having a “conversation” about our listening skills, when you paused and looked straight into my soul and said, “Mommy, I was listening when God made me.” Talk about a reminder. You have given me so much anxiety over the past 5 years, but you have also taught me to let things go more. Lord knows one of my biggest hang ups in life is losing control. So when He gave me you, someone else who also likes to be in control, He was teaching me about being okay with loosening the reigns or the fact that I cannot find the reigns at all. Being your mom has taught me more about prayer than I had ever known before you.

Thank you for being just the best little wild man we could have ever asked for. I thank God every day that I get to be your mommy.  When you were born, a part of me was born too so thank you for helping me become me and listening to God at just the right time.

Love you to Pluto and back,

Mommy

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