June 13, 2011


She never tires of gazing out of the subway windows, my five year old girl. For Briton, who seems to have become an instant New Yorker (declaring this weekend that Brooklyn was “so quiet, it’s weird” and concentrating on word searches on our subway trips rather than watching the crowds and the stations and the buskers and the world go by) there is nothing to see.

But for my girl, what’s out the window in the dark, dark tunnels is captivating. She watches intently, spying graffiti on the walls as red lights flash and we slow around a corner. She points at “big mice” on the tracks as we pull in or out of stations. She waves through the black at people sitting on the next train, travelling just as fast and yet seeming to stand still next to us, until one of the trains begins to rise or sink into a different tunnel. Most of the time no one notices, but when someone does look up from their ipod or paper and smiles, she is delighted.

I love five. At five, the world opens up. The hint of Independence, knowing that, come September, there will be school, real school. And a backpack and a hook and waving goodbye to mom and heading off on her own. But at the same time five can still be little. You can still run to mom, crying, when you are hurt or sad or just need a hug. You can still pile animals in your bed at night and tote your doll everywhere you go. Picture books are still your reading material of choice but chapter books don’t see quite so intimidating anymore. Five is a good year.

There was no party, because we really don’t know anyone. And I worried for a bit, that that would upset her, my girl who loves parties and dressing up and seeing her friends. But in the end, it was perfect the way it was. Presents at breakfast (chocolate croissants, pink milk and strawberries, her choice of course) a bike ride in the park on her new Hello Kitty bike.

Will didn’t take his bike because he thought it would take hours to teach her. Instead her year of balance bike riding paid off and she pedaled away, pretty much instantly, which left Will and I trading off between riding my bike and jogging along side. And after a rest (there was a lot of jogging) cake in the playgarden with our new friends from the 6th floor. The cake she helped me bake, Hello Kitty on the outside, rainbow layers on the inside. Exactly what she wanted. Then chicken fingers, a movie and an early bedtime (also at her request, because being five can sometimes be exhausting).

Happy Five, Evie Girl.

It's going to be a lovely year, I just know it.