I’ve been dreading this day for awhile now. Which is strange, as I’m not one of ‘those’ moms. I love watching my kids grow and change and learn and discover. I love the wonder that each year brings, just like we are standing on the edge of the teen years – and while I’m admittedly a bit scared, I’m also excited. I love life even more(and I never thought it would be possible) as my kids get older, because they can finally understand humor and sarcasm, the power of a well-timed punch line and that knock-knock jokes are ridiculous – and they can also make their own lunches and mop the floor without missing too many spots.
As kids get older they also read more interesting books – books that you can share, conversations become more adult-like, and they are welcome in all public places and have good manners. They also like to give you fashion advice and will quietly point out that piece of spinach in your teeth. They are truly like miniature girlfriends. Pocket friends that I can still put to bed early.
But this last Four has hit me hard.
You see, when they are three and under – they talk in that cute voice – comical almost and cannot pronounce all of their letters. It’s adorable. When they are three and under they have a bit of baby fat on their thighs and cheeks and the remnants of a toddler belly. They still cannot run very fast. When they are three and under, they still tuck neatly into your lap, can wrap around your hips when carried, and still need your assistance to get into the car.
But everything changes at four.
Their hair is suddenly long..and styled. Their words become clearer and sentences long and complex. Their vocabulary goes crazy and soon their sweet baby voice will be gone forever.
I’ll never hear again from one of my children “Mommy, I wuv you fowevah!” While they curl up on my lap with their blanket.
I mean sure we will snuggle and love, but their legs start falling over the edges of my lap and their baby fat has been replaced by angled joints that poke my ribs as we try to find that comfortable place that was like an easy puzzle put together just a few short months ago.
And this Summer, my Four will run fast down the sidewalks as she can nearly keep up with the big kids instead hanging back with the moms as we chat.
And I let her go.
It’s the same for all of us, even though I know I don’t want more babies and won’t have more babies – Four is letting go of all of that babyhood stuff and stages and I feel a catch in my throat when I think about the finality of it all.
So I think of the videos I need to capture – to hear that voice again when she is 15 and 25 and to see her three year old chubby cheeks and perfect line of baby teeth in her innocent big grin.
Because it’s ending here – this babyhood – and moving into big kid land with Four. How bittersweet is this age. Even though three was just yesterday, and Four is today, and more is yet to come – I find myself grasping to time with this last baby of mine, because truly – we all know there’s plenty of time to be a grown-up.
So I think I’m going to let her be a baby just a bit longer.
Because Four is really not all that big, right?
Happy Birthday, to my sweet baby girl. FOUR!