Five is argumentative. If you say the sky is blue, five says somewhat matter-of-factly, "Actually, I think the sky is light blue." You may gnash your teeth and pull out your hair and attempt to define blue for age five, but age five doesn't care, sorry five's not sorry, it's definitely light blue.
Five knows everything, no really all of it. You may ask five a question it doesn't know the answer to, but that's simply because something is obviously wrong with the question.
Five has lost the ability to process any information that isn't information about football or Beyblades or Legos or dessert. If you ask five to feed the dog, five will say, "Sure!" and then you will remind five to feed the dog, and five will say, "Yes, mommy!" and the dog will not be fed until 15 minutes later when you yell, "SERIOUSLY, FEED MOLLY OR SHE GETS YOUR DINNER."
"Don't YELL Mommy!"
Five is just starting to really define its actual independence and where age two or three proudly declared, "I CAN DO IT" when age two or three most definitely could not do it, age five is willing to try a ton of new things that age five can actually do. Maybe not well or tidy but age five sort of thinks it can take on the world, and age five is sort of right.
Age five's manners are starting to click, and you hear "thank you" sweetly shouted at waitresses and teachers and grandparents after years of reminding it to say thank you. Age five speaks loudly enough for others to hear, and answers questions in complete sentences, not shy one-word whispers. When someone asks five how school is, five says, "We went on a field trip and I played with Alejandro at recess and we have dance parties!" animatedly, with confidence.
While age five literally never stops talking it's still an age of few words when I'm the one asking the questions. (I have to get ridiculously creative when I'm peppering him with questions at the end of the school day.) Age five has ironically said, "I AM DONE WITH THESE QUESTIONS" because oh really, age five? I had to answer 74 questions the other day about where babies come from, I promise asking who you sat next to at lunch is less uncomfortable.
Age five is better at math than I am.
Age five is honest and can sometimes deeply hurt a fragile mom's feelings. Age five doesn't mean to, but age five speaks the truth. Oh yes.
Age five turns to wave when it gets out of the car, in the school pick-up line in the morning, drowning beneath its big-kid backpack. Age five grins with its whole self and laughs even deeper. Age five is so, so, so big but when you put it up against all those other grades in elementary school, age five is so, so, so tiny. Too tiny. Are we sure its legal, to let age five walk into that school building each day, all on its own?
Age five is resilient. When a kid says "I don't like you" on the playground, while our hearts fracture into one million pieces, age five says, "I walked away and played with Jack instead." Oh age five. I think I'm learning from you more than I'm teaching you.
Age five still runs to hug you at the end of the day, and while its harder than ever before to pick up five and hug it close to you, you still can. Not for much longer. But for now. You hug and hug and hug. Age five hugs better than anyone you know.
Age five holds the door open for you, and says, "You go first mommy."
Age five still has the tiniest, smallest hint of baby in its cheeks and elbows and belly when age five is fast asleep.
Age five says "Seriously?" when it witnesses an injustice, like a car not using its turn signal or a motorcyclist not wearing his/her helmet.
Age five is probably arguing RIGHT THIS SECOND.
Sometimes when you glance at age five from across the soccer field or parking lot or backyard or dinner table, your breath catches because you can see what age ten or age fifteen will look like. Age five feels closer to that than it feels to those early ages. Weren't you just looking at age one or two? Time feels so strange most days. I remember willing time to speed up, so I could sleep more, be alone more, read more. Age five is at a starting line and the gun's gone off, and you've been waiting five entire years for it to do exactly that but now that it has...wait. Don't turn that corner quite so quickly. Alright, if you must, look back just once, would you?
Age five looks back, but far too quickly.
Age five is hard and beautiful and hilarious (seriously, hilarious) and cool and smart and running away from you a little more each and every day.
Age five runs a lot. (And trips a lot too.)
When we were trying, hoping, praying to get pregnant, I used to drive around and talk to my future baby. I'd say things like "I don't care what books you like or even if you like books at all. I don't care what you look like or sound like. I don't care if you like boys or girls or baseball or badminton or want to live with us forever or away from us for most of your days. I don't care about any of that. I just care about you."
Age five reminds me of those weepy promises. Because age five is starting to fill in those blanks. Age five is beginning to draw its place in this world, forming hobbies, making real friends, dealing with its first disappointments and obstacles and talents and victories. And I realize that what I meant then and what I mean now, each and every day, is that as five's place gets drawn, all I really know is that I want a front-row seat in its corner.
Age five is something else.
I'm cheering for it every single day.