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5 Ways I Wish I Was More Like My 5-Year-Old Girl

Many people find it hard to believe that I’m actually 41 years old. I think it’s not only because I inherited my mom’s youthful genes (lucky me!), but also because my attitude is more on the childish, life-is-a-box-of-chocolates end. At the same time, I feel so old because of all the wisdom I’ve acquired that really only comes with age and filling your life with both the so-called (because you must always account for perspective) positive and negative experiences that make it richer.

Of course, all of this “wisdom” I’ve gained, and continue to do so every single day, I want to project to my 5-year-old daughter. But the more I do, the more I realize that she’s my teacher as much as I am hers. I’ve come to understand that the mother-child relationship is the biggest “I am you, you are me,” mirror there could be, and by truly comprehending that I can continue to evolve at the same time I’m giving her the love, support and guidance to find her own way through the rollercoaster of emotions that childhood brings.

There’s something beautiful about the huge spectrum of raw emotions my girl goes through every day. At this age, her feelings are not yet completely filtered through judgments or too much peer pressure. She’s barely starting to discover the labels society tries to slap onto us, and finding out the differences that eventually separate us from others. The more I watch her and listen to her verbalize how she digests the happenings in her world, the more I find ways I wish I was more like her at my age, and these are also the traits in her I want to nourish the most.

  • 5 Ways I Wished I Was More Like My 5 Year Old 1 of 6
    5 Ways I Wished I Was More Like My 5 Year Old Girl
  • She knows what she wants and she is not apologetic about it 2 of 6
    5 Ways I Wished I Was More Like My 5-Year-Old Girl

    Isn't it amazing how much we start losing our assertiveness once we start realizing all the opportunities for failure and being judged? I wished I didn't have to weigh pros and cons so much and would just bull through without hesitation when I know that something is right and is what I want.

  • Mornings are a fresh new start 3 of 6
    5 Ways I Wished I Was More Like My 5 Year Old

    Every morning she wakes up and is excited about something or the other. Rarely ever is she mad or complaining about what happened the day before or is holding a grudge. I know this will change in the tween and teen years, but for now I'm soaking in that rise-with-the-sunshine energy and trying to kick in the day with an always-fresh perspective. Not easy to do when we're carrying around so much stress and a never-ending to-do list, but it's definitely a daily happiness goal to have.

  • Imaginary friends are healthy to have 4 of 6
    5 Ways I Wished I Was More Like My 5 Year Old

    It's certainly a myth that only children have imaginary friends because they are lonely. The children that have imaginary friends actually have very creative imaginations. My girl has had imaginary siblings for a while and I've always welcomed them into our family. I love how wildly creative her play gets with these siblings and how she integrates them into what we're doing. I know she will soon find this silly to do once she's more self-conscious, but for now they are a way for her to let us into her emotional states. I wished I had imaginary friends that could help me navigate my emotions and put them out there without being treated as a schizophrenic. 

  • Girls rule and that is that 5 of 6
    5 Ways I Wished I Was More Like My 5 Year Old

    At this age she's so unapologetic about who she is and what she loves. She's definitely a princess-lover, dress-wearing, all-things-pink hoarder that just adores being a girl. She loves being who she is and never really wants to fit into what the boys are doing. She just follows her instincts and desires and that leads her to what will be considered gender stereotypes. But are they when she's the one leading the way and just going after what she enjoys? I feel that as we enter adulthood we fight our own desires because they might fit stereotypical roles we try so hard to avoid, but in the process we silence our real wants. I wished I could clean all that sometimes and go back to the raw emotional state of being.

  • Wishing upon a star 6 of 6
    wishing upon a star

    My girl will never let an eyelash on her cheek or a single star in the sky go without a wish. She fervently believes in those wish-making moments and that dreams come true. I do too -- I just all to often forget to ask. I wipe the eyelashes off my face before I can even remember to make a wish. I don't give myself time to look up to the sky for that first lone star. I drown myself in life circumstances and the best path to get me here or out of there without stopping to just wish and ask.

Do you look at your children as your guides? In which ways do you wish you were more like them?


Buy the book I co-authored, Bilingual is Better: Two Latina Moms on How the Bilingual Parenting Revolution is Changing the Face of America.

Read more from me at

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