You are five.

by Amy on February 25, 2015

Alice and Anthony

Who were you when you were five?

When I was five…

I loved flowers — I vividly remember the plants from my childhood – the sunflowers in my backyard, the rose bushes by the patio, the filbert orchards and the Oregon grapes with berries you couldn’t really eat.

I loved to swim – that feeling of being under the water on a hot day was magical.

I could play for hours by myself (I liked the company of my Barbies over the company of real people).

I made “funbooks” for my little brother, full of mazes and puzzles, word searches and pictures to color.

I loved animals, desperately. My best friend was my dog Jamie and my cat Charity.

I was an artist. I drew horses and roses and forests.

After all the years of thinking I should be smart, accomplished and pretty…

I now just want to be like my five year old self again, full of wonder and joy and curiosity.

That five year old girl who didn’t know there was anything she was supposed to do, like or be.

I’m convinced there’s nothing to fix about any of us.

We just need to re-connect with our five-year-old selves before we ever learned the word “should.”

That five-year-old version of you is your ticket home.

Never forget who you are.

Fittingly, my daughter Joy is five.

And because I never want her to forget…

Joy Elizabeth Albano. You are five.



You love your stuffies. Every single one of them. Especially Alien, Harold, Giraffy, Maria and Olaf. And you treat them like they are real.

You are content to play alone in your  room. I hear you in there singing to your toys and it makes me smile.

If I let you, you would wear your purple shirt and pants every single day. I have to wash them for special occasions. You made me wash them before family Music Together and for your school play.

You are the family staring contest champion.

You are FUNNY. Last week you had us laughing so hard we literally fell of the chair. You were telling us a reallllyyyyy long ghost story. I wish you could see your facial expressions.

You love to write books. One of your favorite topics: “It was very windy.” Then you draw circles and circles all over the page.

You love to lip synch to the “Rio” soundtrack.

You say stuff like:

“Mom, at night I go outside. Yep. I wait until everyone is sleeping and then I go outside and I play until it’s morning.”

You are all love.

My twins are eight.

And because I never want them to forget…

Alice Kathleen Albano. You were five.


You …

Loved rainbows. The moon. Fairies. Unicorns. You called yourself a “real princess.” You made fairy houses.

You were a true fashionista who loved to window shop for “pretty dresses.” (And you got really mad at me that day when I didn’t let you go into the shoe store.)

Your smile and your laugh lit up a room. When strangers heard your guffaw they laughed out loud, on the spot.

You loved to play mama – to your little sister and the earth – the rocks, leaves, bugs, flowers…

Strangely, you were a natural at hulu dancing and writing Japanese characters..???

You wanted to be in a parade. When we went to see the Fresh Beat Band you told me you wanted to be on stage.

You loved to tell stories and write them. You asked me to write while you narrated and I could never write as fast as the stories you told.

You could outrun everyone in the family (except me).

You loved swimming and being in the water. I think your totem animal is a dolphin.

For being such a gentle girl, you were really competitive. You loved races and contests and trying to get your pajamas on by the time I count to ten.

You would draw by yourself for hours. You loved your pencils and your sketchbook – you could draw birds like no other.

You were obsessed with candy. And TV. Except you didn’t like to watch scary stuff because it will get in your head, you’d say.

You talked like this…

“Mama you sing beautiful. Oh your wedding ring, it’s so pretty. Look! The trees are dancing!”

Most of this is still true about you. Some things have changed. You are all love.

Anthony Michael Albano. You were five.



Loved to climb. You could already do the monkey bars (plus skip a bar) all by yourself. (And you hang upside down on the bar in the elevator while it’s moving–it was your latest trick.)

You loved ninja turtles. The only way I got you to wear those red short is by telling you that Raphael chose them.

You favorite character in Pinocchio was Lampwick. When I asked you why you said, “because he turned into a donkey.” I think it’s because you’re fascinated by transformation (but then again I’m a life coach).

You were always extremely sensitive to negative energy. It freaked you out. Always has.

If you got in trouble the only way to calm you down is to give you a hug and lots of love. I told them that at school and the teacher says it works like a charm.

You loved your friends. Your best friend was Duncan and you two were inseparable.

You loved to build things and figure out how stuff works. (You destroyed your sleeping mat at school, pulled the fluff right out. I told the teacher it wasn’t because you were being bad, you just wanted to see what was in there.)

You loved Legos. The more complicated the better. I am still your Lego partner.

You were very good at drawing. Your pictures were really detailed. You drew robots and ninja turtles, of course.

You loved to make people laugh.

You were very sweet and kind to your little sister. When she gets hurt, she often went to you or her sister for a hug.

Your favorite book was called Salmon Stream. You’d make us read it over and over. I think your totem animal is a Salmon.

This is how you talk:

You: “Hey mom, look under there!”

Me: “Under where?”

You: “You said underwear! See I can make you laugh!”

So much of this is still true about you. Some things are different. You are all love.

Now it’s your turn. Tell us about your five-year-old self? Leave a comment below!

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Leah June 12, 2013 at 3:15 pm

You’ve inspired me to do this not only to remember my five year old self, but to write this letter for my children as well. What a beautiful piece.
Thank you-


Amy June 12, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Thank you Leah. I am thinking a lot about my five year old self. And how I can bring her back into my life. Looking like a lot of gardening + animals + more fun books in my future. Best part is, just like you, I have my own five year olds to inspire me. Thanks for the comment!


Chris Babcock June 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Sadly, I have very few memories from before we moved to the midwest.

Here’s what I remember, though, from ages 1-6 before we moved:

I loved my baby-sitter (although I don’t remember her name) because people always thought she was my sister, she always smelled like a swimming pool, and she had Freddie the Dancing Car.

My favorite thing to do at school was to climb the flagpole and hang out on the roof at recess.

I loved my neighbor Mrs. Stubbs because she gave me cookies and let me play her organ.

I loved Brutus, the family cat, and visits with my relatives.

I loved running and climbing and jumping and riding big wheels. I remember riding around the block on my big wheel and singing at the top of my lungs.

All my friends were boys.

I loved honeysuckle and dogwood and the cherry blossom trees that line the Mall in DC.

Halloween was scary. The teenage boys next door were REALLY scary.

I was always getting in trouble for playing when I was supposed to be asleep. I remember when my parents went to see Star Wars and I slept at their friends’ house. I pretended I was asleep and my dad picked up the sleeping bag with me in it and threw it over his shoulder like Santa and I giggled the whole way out of the house.

The reason I don’t like salt is because I fell down the stairs and bit a hole in my tongue. It looked really cool, but salt made it hurt, so I stopped eating salt and never started up again.


Amy June 12, 2013 at 5:51 pm

Hi Chris. You sound like a very interesting five year old. With some wounds slapped on top. Who were you underneath the pain? In my interview with Navjit Kandola for Radical Authenticity is the New Paycheck she said something very powerful. She said we don’t have to carry our wounds with us. They don’t have to become our identity. I am no way free from all of mine yet, but this simple acknowledgement has given me a whole new way to see things. Big love to you. Thank you SO much for the comment.


Katie McClain June 12, 2013 at 9:43 pm

This is so wonderful Amy! What a beautiful article.

I remember spinning around on the front lawn with my arms flung out and looking up into the sky. I remember playing baseball and football in the street with the boys. I couldn’t WAIT to start Kindergarten. I loved every second of school. I didn’t want to nap because it was too much fun. We lived in Moorpark and there were beautiful green rolling hills that I loved. I can’t think of much more, but this was fun!



Amy June 12, 2013 at 10:29 pm

I can just smell the grass… Thank you for sharing your childhood with me Katie.


Andrea June 12, 2013 at 10:20 pm

I love this post so much I want wrap my arms around it and give it great big hug!! And yes, I did cry when I read your love notes to your children. (My oldest will be 5 in two months.) So beautiful!

It’s actually kind of hard to remember when I was that age, nothing seems super vivid, but here we go:

I loved playing outside. Anywhere – in the backyard, in the street, on the stage at the middle school down the block. I just wanted to be outside all the time.

I loved “swimming” on the steps in my grandma’s pool.

I loved making butter sandwiches with sugar on top.

I loved my cousins, Dave and Doug.

I loved reading the notes my mom would leave for us when she was at work.

I loved watching “The Flintstones” with my brother.

I loved putting on variety shows for my stuffed animals (think “Donny and Marie”).

I loved braiding my hair and wearing ribbons and barrettes.

I loved all of our impromptu family gatherings.

Thanks, Amy – such a wonderful reminder to get back to the truest part of ourselves! 🙂


Amy June 12, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Thank you for your comment Andrea! I also loved butter sandwiches with sugar! (My children don’t know about these yet THANK GOD). We are lucky to have our five year olds to remind us of who we really are.


Kari Stuber June 13, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Ok, it was 1966, but I remember:
I loved cardboard boxes, we had these really steep stairs going down to our basement and I would spend hours sliding down the stairs on cardboard. Mom said she didn’t have to get me toys, cause all I wanted was the box.
My best friends were twin boys, Terry and Troy Jordan.
We had a console tv shell with no insides and we would play moms old 45’s and do shows inside the tv.
The Kingsman (Anyone remember the song “Louis Louis”) lived a couple houses away and we would lay on the lawn all day and watch them practice in the basement.
I loved my cat Ralph.
I loved coloring books and crayons and always carried them with me.
I loved my sisters.
I loved “Fizzies” (They were like Alka Seltzer tablets only they made flavored soda out of water)
I loved to skateboard and ride my bike.
My favorite memory was when mom came home from work with Hoola Hoops and took us to see “The sound of music” my first movie at a theatre


Amy June 14, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Ahhhhh feel like I’m laying there on the grass with you listening to the Kingsman rehearse.


Diane Albano June 13, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Thanks, Amy, for this very special post. I now feel I know my darling grandchildren and precious daughter-in-love even better than ever.

OK, it was so long ago I really needed some mental research.

I loved playing outside in the summer until it was almost dark.

It was the year I learned to roller skate and there was no stopping me.

The way the clouds made so many shapes could intoxicate me for long periods of time.

Family get togethers with the great cousins and the most entertaining aunts and uncles were the best.

Nothing was more secure than snuggling on my Nana’s lap .

My grandfather told such funny stories that we still talk about them.

I loved pretending to be a mom with my baby dolls.

Whenever I could I would dress up and put on shows for anyone willing to watch.

I loved to sing and dance.

I could play paper dolls for hours on end.

Surprise Saturdays were so special when my Dad would take us somewhere and we never knew where until we arrived there.

When my Dad would take me to Mass on Sunday and we would hold hands and bond I would fee extra loved.


Amy June 14, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Precious! Thank you for sharing Mom. I love the idea of surprise Saturdays! Hmmm.


Linda Ursin June 13, 2013 at 9:18 pm

I can’t say I remember what I was like when I was five. I know from what my parent have told me, that I was a real chatterbox, loved painting and drawing, and asked a lot of questions. In other words, the same person that I am today 🙂


Amy June 14, 2013 at 4:49 pm

That’s a good sign Linda!


Linda Ursin August 7, 2014 at 12:50 pm

I can’t remember when I was five, but from what I’ve been told I was very creative and talkative. Pretty much the same as now 🙂


Melody February 26, 2015 at 2:01 pm

Ohh I love this post.. inspiration to go back to the day, talk with my Mum about my 5 year old self and share with my friends about theirs. A beautiful post that made me smile … Thank you !


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