Six. There’s just something about six. In rounding, once you get to six, you automatically round up to 10. Six is closer to 10 than zero!
Six is also the first perfect number — which means when all the numbers factors are added, the sum equals itself. 1+2+3=6. Plus, in six days, God created the world; how is that for perfection? In western tradition, sugar (or candy) marks the sixth year anniversary. And I know a certain new 6-year-old who will give six cheers to that!
That’s right, my sweet Maylie Jane just had her sixth birthday. Look, I am not going to go on and on about how quick it happened, how I swear we just brought her home from the hospital, she was just in diapers, just said her first word and took her first step.
Actually, yes. Yes, I am. Because six just feels so different.
My first baby is, well, not a baby anymore. By looking at her, it is more than obvious. I still remember when she could simply sprawl out on my chest and there was more than enough room to cuddle her. Now, she stands almost chest high to me.
You guys, she can read! No, not like Harry Potter books — yet. But I tell you what, we can no longer do the parent secret spell out, because that girl will not only sound it out, but she will call us out as well. “Yay, we are going to get ice cream!” Um, what? Crap!
I blame kindergarten. Combined, six and kindergarten have transformed my child. After a recent dentist appointment, I walked her into the school office where they gave her a pass and told her to go to her room. And my mind went like this: “Wait, no one is going with her? What if she doesn’t know the way? I will walk her to class!”
But there was no need, she knew where she was going. Much like how she knows how to clean her room now. Sure, she may stuff some clutter in drawers or her closet (I have NO idea where she learned that), but she can make it look good at least on the outside.
Just the other night, I told her it was time to come in for the night, and she simply said, “ok.” No full-blown tantrum, no begging for five more minutes, no talking back. Yes, it may have been in sloth speed, but she just waltzed off the trampoline and made her way home.
Looking both ways before crossing the street has become instinct, saying please and thank you just comes natural, and sleeping all night in her own bed is a given.
Praise the Lord for six.
I feel like six is the magic number where you can rightfully start assessing yourself as a parent. Old enough to fully comprehend, a six-year-old’s actions tell the tale of their taught tactics. (Although as I wrote those words and thought about Reagan, I feel like I may eat them one day.)
Because really, I don’t think that I have done anything special or different as a mother these last six years. She has just always been the child who tricked you into wanting to have more children.
At five weeks old, she slept through the night. While getting rid of binkies and diapers wasn’t the easiest, listening and obeying has always come natural to her; she would much rather comply than disappoint.
Before she walked, she talked — like would fully string words together as she crawled around on the floor. All of the animal sounds could be communicated by her at 18 months, counting was a no-brainer, and she could spell her name before age 3.
Compassion and empathy have erupted from her core since she could communicate. And the love that she exudes is immeasurable. She’s always been the kind of kid who makes you feel like you are totally rocking it as a mom.
And I will take that! Sure, she gets tired like all kids and will add some extra drama that isn’t necessary. At the smallest sight of blood, she freaks out, and sometimes when she doesn’t get something right the first time, she will wig out a bit (she gets that from her dad).
But this little girl, my sweet six-year-old, she has my heart. There’s something about first making me a mom, and then making me effortlessly feel like a great mom, that cannot be matched.
So, this week, we celebrated our Maylie turning six — the first perfect number. And while, no, she is not perfect, but she has been the first of two of the most perfect additions to my life.
Happy sixth Birthday, Maylie Jane!
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.