Saturday, April 28, 2007
Six and four (well, almost)
Ben (age 6), upon my arrival: “Babci, say tyrannosaurus!”
I indulge him and manage to mispronounce the word once again. How does he remember my tendency to place the accent on the wrong syllable? I haven’t seen the kid in a year and a half!
Ben giggles with delight and carefully corrects my mistake.
Sophie (age 6): “Babci, you’re silly. That’s crazy.” Dubious looks at whatever words of wisdom I think I’m dispensing. Cynicism at six? I no longer walk on water. It starts this early?
Olivia (age 4): “Babci, I love you.” Adoring look and quiet affirmation as she pours imaginary tea for me in her plastic cup.
Hannah (not quite 4): “Babci, you’re the best.” Sleepy words of satisfaction as I tell her a favorite bedtime story and rub her tummy “in circles”.
In all fairness, Ben told me I was “the best” too when he was four years old. But now he and cousin, Sophie, are moving on … kindergarten, friends, learning how to read and write, growing beyond simple trust and finding new voices to raise questions and challenge the adults in their lives. Losing baby teeth, cutting new teeth. Jokes and pranks and feeling so sure of themselves. Firstborn cousins, trying to assert their positions in the family circle.
I laugh at their teasing and impatience with me. They expect answers and dialogue now. It’s simpler with the younger siblings. I don’t have to work so hard. I can still lead the dance. With Ben and Sophie though, I have to let them take the lead and flap their wings a bit - stretching the boundaries but still wanting to know that it’s okay.
Different ages, different stages.
“Will you still need me
Will you still feed me
When I’m six and four”