That’s how old my daughter is now. She’ll be seven in May, but calling her “six” just doesn’t feel right. She’s so different than the girl who turned six on our Disney vacation last year.
She’s all elbows and knees, long hair that gets curly when it’s wet, and I can see her future teenage self staring back at me when I look at her most days.
It takes my breath away.
Almost seven might be my favorite age so far. She’s fiercely independent (and we have the arguments to prove it), yet still so much a mama’s girl. She wants held and cuddled, but she wants to take showers by herself (never a bath, heaven forbid) where she sings Taylor Swift lyrics at the top of her lungs. She gives me a hug when she gets off the bus in the afternoon, but wants me to walk ahead so she can walk home with her friends.
We’re still at the age where she thinks it’s cool that I like Taylor Swift and Luke Bryan. We can sing along to “Blank Space” in the car, dance around the living room to “Rain Is a Good Thing”, and she still wants me to sing her favorite lullaby (“Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral”) at night.
She wants to be a horsewoman and a scientist at a farm because it’s too hard for her to pick between the two. She soaks up little bits of trivia about horses and space and science like a sponge. She loves dress up and lip gloss and Taylor Swift, but she makes a mean Jedi. She fights with her brother (constantly), but she’s the best big sister when she wants to be.
Almost seven is awesome.
I know in a year or two this will all change. She’ll cringe when I try to sing along. She won’t want me to climb into bed with her at night for snuggles. She won’t come running to me with a hug and kiss when she gets off the bus after school.
For the first time, thinking of the future hurts. I was always a little melancholy when the kids stopped nursing or started walking or started school, but I never felt this pang in my heart because they were still so small and still needed me. I knew I had time. I had time to enjoy them as infants, toddlers, preschoolers. And now that time is running out.
Yes, I know she’ll always need me in one way or another. I’m awarded that benefit for life.
But when I look at her sweet face and I see how big she is and how quickly time passes, I realize things are changing. The way she’ll need me will change. The way I’ll need her will change. And I’m not ready for it. Not just yet.
For now, I want her to stay “almost seven” forever.