It’s been a while since you turned five. And even longer since I found myself here, on these pages: it’s been that kind of year.
A whirlwind of a year, racing out from under me as I cling on tight and try not to get thrown off. Cling on tight to you and try not to fight or lose my nerve, resplendent as you are in your fiveness.
At night it is you who clings on. Snuggling deep into my armpit, knees and toes needling their way into my body. Sometimes it seems as if you want to climb back into my womb. You talk to me softly in a language I don’t understand. Every so often I hear the word ‘mama’: that word that melts my heart and keeps me awake even as tiredness burns behind my eyes. I do not want to miss even one moment of you.
Except when it is day. When it is day, you are wild – lashing out with feet and hands and words. You are the whirlwind, racing through our lives and turning them all, deliciously, upside-down. Your wildness is wonderful, and it threatens to break me. You leap and flip and roll and spin: energy bursting through your skin.
You are the final piece in our neurodivergent family puzzle, bringing the H to our ADD party.
I joke, but actually I see so much of myself in you.
The girl who loved nothing better than to hang upside down in trees. Who would spend school break time standing on her head, revelling in the rush of blood and adrenaline. As tweens turned into teens that girl hung from trapezes, turned flips on trampolines. And sought her kicks in other places too that I will ever be mindful of as you grow older.
That girl is back here now, cheering you on even as I force myself to sit on my hands rather than whisk you down from the top of the climbing frame, swallowing once again the heart that leaps into my mouth as you nearly but don’t quite fall.
She loves it when you’re quiet too. When I can breathe; find still and calm. Lego. Baking. Drawing. Water. Trees.
Beyond the wild – and in it – you are so creative, insightful, thoughtful, kind.
You are only ever where your self-direction leads, though. When you do not consent you make it known. Defiant? Disobedient? Perhaps. A world changer? Most definitely.
Your mind is incredible. Unknowable.
I cannot imagine how you could ever have shrunk yourself to fit into school. Now more than ever I am grateful life has led us on a different path.
And, not for the first time, I feel like all the time till now has only been practice: you are here to test our real strength, our mettle.
I’m up to it. I promise.
All my love for always,