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.
"No thanks. I don't need any help Dad," was Bug's matter-of-fact response to Hubs' offer of help down a steep hill.
We've been hearing that a lot in the last month. Even tonight he looked at a drawing he'd done and said, "When I was four or five I couldn't spell 'Northern or Southern Pacific' ."
There seems to be a universal understanding that 5 is 'little' but 6 is 'big.' I felt that way as Bug approached this birthday; 5 did seem like the last "young" year. Kindergartners are 5; big first-graders are 6. Even the train museum grades them differently; 5 year olds get in free with the "babies," six year olds pay admission like the big kids.
Bug's teacher says she's seen a noticable change in him as well. While it's hard for us to imagine, he's been one of the two quietest boys in his class all year. He wouldn't even speak up if he missed an instruction and needed help.
The week of his birthday though, he got to be in the spotlight all week as "Star Attraction." Monday he got to tell the class all about himself as he explained his poster--his teacher said he was one of only two kids who actually read and talked about every box on it. Tuesday he got to bring the special treat (train shaped cupcakes) and for the first time, he didn't mind having everyone sing "Happy Birthday" to him. Wednesday he got to bring something special (his new Lionel train) to show the class--he spent 15 minutes telling them more than they knew there was to know about trains (literally 15 minutes--I have it on video!).
And once he got his feet under him, he hasn't faded back into the background. He talks more (maybe a good thing; sometimes not), he laughs more (definitely a good thing); he's silly and engages his classmates more.
It's interesting to me that simply changing the number on his age seems to have flipped a switch and given him a new degree of confidence. He reached a milestone that was meaningful to him and it's changed his outlook and his approach to all kinds of things.
The funny thing is, nothing else really changed. He didn't move up a grade; he didn't receive special training for being six or acquire a new skill that makes him better at it. He simply views what he already knows and can do, differently.
What about you? Are you waiting to reach some personal or spiritual milestone before you can step out in confidence and go boldly toward what comes next for you in career or community or ministry? Are you waiting until you're older...until your kids are older...until...?
Be watchful; your next milestone might be just around the corner and you don't even know it. But when you get there, may you be "...six, now and forever."