Last week Jackson turned six – something he’s been looking forward to since his fifth birthday. Wednesday night I tucked him in bed and told him, with a touch of sadness hidden behind my smile, that this would be my last time hugging my five year old. He beamed and gave me the biggest hug he could muster, promising it would be bigger in the morning when he was six.
He seemed to grow three inches overnight.
Watching him now I can’t believe he’s the same child I held in my arms six years ago. He no longer emits that intoxicating baby smell that I can’t get enough of. Nowadays he smells of strawberries or lavender depending on the type of shampoo he has used that morning. Gone is the sweet newborn smell that seems to cling to each strand of a baby’s fine hair.
And his hands are now the hands of a little boy. Gone are the pudgy little fingers and non-existent wrists. As a six year old, flush with verbal words both appropriate and unfortunate, he rarely talks to me with his hands. I know the time is coming when he will again sign but I try not to think about the kinds of gestures he’ll be making when he’s a teen. For now he sticks to ‘please’ when I’ve said no to something and he thinks the Cute Factor might just swing me over to his way of thinking.
‘I love you’ is another nice one that he still uses quite regularly and it makes me smile every time.
These days our non-verbal communication consists mainly of reminders for both kids to use their manners or my gesturing across the room advising them to behave nicely and share. It ‘s why the outside world congratulates me on having such polite children.
Oops, now you know our little secret.