She is four. And she is lovely. And she is light. And laughter. And temperamental. She is four, and she is witty. She is thoughtful. And generous. And mischivous. Our house rings with her giggles and rattles with her wails. She is old enough to startle me with her observations, but young enough to try a temper tantrum to get her way. She is her older sister’s biggest fan and consistent sparring opponent…sometimes switching back and forth on moment’s notice. She wants to visit a local church so she can “see what it smells like.” One of her favorite songs is “Smooth Carnival” by Michael Jackson, and she loves riding the “miracle-round” and the zoo. At present, she is blonde, but her hair is getting darker. She is looking more girlish and less like a baby every day. She is independent. She is fearless, often doing things her big sister isn’t brave enough to try. She’ll taste anything once, and her palette is far more mature than her years. She still likes to snuggle up in our bed, and while I hate it when I’m trying to sleep, I love waking up with her snuggling against me. And her voice… oh, her sweet little voice. Four. Not my baby. Not my little one. She’s my girl. My big girl.
I have tried so hard not to make her milestones about me, but for every one of the above, she crashes through about a million tiny webs my heartstrings have tied around her. To keep her bound to me. To keep her my baby. My child. My little one. I know what my job is, and I rejoice in her growth and development, but I can’t help but feel that something very precious is coming to an end. And my heart just isn’t ready for that. Not yet. How my heart does ache to feel these growing pains.