Tonight, I said goodnight to five for the last time.
Tomorrow, my youngest boy turns six.
Goodnight, five, and goodbye five.
I curled up next to his pajama’d body and said a nice, long, goodnight and goodbye.
Goodnight, five,and goodbye to the days of
packing a blankie and buddy for rest time at school,
and learning to tie shoes.
Goodbye to the magical moment of I-can-read;
that miracle of letters on a page making sounds that magically form a familiar word!
Goodbye to the days of first backpack and first lunchbox and first play date with a school friend.
I rubbed his back and said goodbye to five, slowly, gently.
And the goodbye-fives turned into goodbye-everything-little as I thought about our preschool days and baby days.
Goodbye bringing babies home from hospitals,
and tiny new outfits, and milk-snuggles.
Goodbye teethers and days of dumping out toys and chewing on everything.
Goodbye strollers and baby-on-the-hip;
Goodbye afternoon naps with a baby plastered to my side;
Goodbye days spent in a blur of exhaustion and goodbye just trying to keep everybody alive.
Suddenly he whispered, “are you asleep mama?” and turned over to face me. “No, honey,” I said, “not yet.”
I’m too busy saying goodbyes.
Goodbye five, and less-than-five.
God help me embrace six, and more-than-six, too.
I hid my tears and held him close.
He turned over again and let out a little fart.
He pulled his minion blanket up over his shoulder, made sure my arm was around his waist, and sighed. He resigned to sleep, passing gently into the next stage of his life, fearless, and at peace.