Now We Are Six
When I was one, I had just begun.
When I was two, I was nearly new.
When I was three, I was hardly me.
When I was four, I was not much more.
When I was five, I was just alive.
But now I am six, I’m as clever as clever.
So I think I’ll be six now and forever.
When my youngest daughter, Maisy Rose, was smaller, the above was her favorite reading material. She was turning six years old, and she fervently and repeatedly expressed the sentiment in this poem. She wanted to always be the “tiny” of the family. She wanted to never get a day older than six years old. She longed only to immerse herself in the blissful gems of childhood: laughter, coloring, hair braids, happy stories, playing dress-up with her sisters, musicals, impromptu dancing, macaroni and cheese, bike riding, and singing. She’s my child who swears she will never, ever leave home. (I know she will eventually change her mind!) To that end, we tried to make her bedroom reflect her colorful, fun personality.
The first weekend after buying our place, we had scraped the popcorn ceilings smooth, painted them, and ripped out carpet. This was a blank slate for the first “pretty” project in the house: paint. It’s humorous how I pored over dozens of paint chips from several stores for weeks looking for just the right shade of vintage aqua; and yet, upon entering the local Ace Hardware for a small purchase with her dad, Liz (daughter #4) grabbed exactly the right shade and brought it to me. “Mayflower Blue” is pale, soothing, and just enough color to brighten the girls’ rooms.
Maisy’s room before renovation The new floors in her room
After: new floors and pale blue walls Closet doors painted with chalkboard paint
Vintage chandelier scored on Craigslist for $10 Thrift store desk and chair repainted for $30
Her room is now a bright, cheerful haven for devouring books, journaling, drawing on her huge chalkboard, singing along to the “Hairspray” soundtrack, and wishing for more days as a little girl. This week as she turns 9, I’m waxing sentimental and trying to savor every minute of these days with her. She is my serendipity baby, arriving as a surprise after nearly 15 years of infertility! She still loves musicals and is a little obsessed with Barbra Streisand lately. Her love of literature is blooming as fast as her vocabulary; these days, she’s trying out words like, “mediocre,” “cavalier,” and “repertoire.” She adores her big siblings. She’s formulated her own motivational speech; among its points are, “hugs not drugs,” “don’t put that in your mouth,” and “stay in school.” Living on our little farm has made her fond of gardening and exploring. Our Maisy is a delightfully curious learner, generous hugger, devourer of ranch dressing, little sister, good friend, and queen of the selfie. Happy 9th birthday, sweet girl!
I’m reminded all too often of the speed with which time passes, especially as I recently purchased a worn copy of “Now We are Six” for my **granddaughter’s** sixth birthday! Relish these days with your little ones. I know that one day we will miss and even long for the noise, the mess, and the bustle of having a house full of children. David and I continue to work at making September Farm the kind of place that beckons our children and grandchildren home for years to come.