Happy Birthday! You turned 5.

You didn’t realize how fast the year would go by. And suddenly, here you are, five years old and your hair has grown longer and your clothes fit differently and you aren’t asking as many questions because you are able to think for yourself and do things on your own. You’re not sure why the sky is blue, but you love that it is; you’re not sure of all the different types of clouds but you read about them sometimes. You’re innocent to the waking world of adults – that cruel world that you’re unsure you’ll ever need to face because it seems forever away; you’re still tucked away in blissful innocence, isolated from bureaucracy.

Next year you will be ready to start school. You’ll want a pink backpack and nice neat labels on your school supplies. You’re eager to meet “friends”; this is a concept you’ve seen and know of, but are unfamiliar with. You’re eager and you’re also scared. Scared that you won’t fit in, scared that you won’t like school but know there’s no going back; scared of new sights and sounds that you can’t even imagine even though you’ve tried. You remember from experience how sometimes things seem like they’ll be one way, and then you’ll realize that actually they’re not like that at all.

For the time being, you’re still at play. You make memories and know for a fact that you’ll need them when the world will inevitably turn its back, even if only for a moment. But you have perspective for someone who’s five. Because in five years, look what you’ve done; look at all of your little accomplishments. You can speak, you can walk and run and dance and ask for what you want, and say and almost even write your own name. You look at puppets on television and know they’re puppets. You’re one step closer to being first disillusioned and then realizing that you’re just discovering certain truths about the world: that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are merely just one-dimensional characters and do not actually exist except in the imaginations of greedy eager children. You’re a greedy eager child still. You just don’t know it yet. But when you’re in need, maybe you will and you’ll appreciate what it meant for you now to turn 5 years old.

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