Today, I took a trip back in time.
Me, four (nine times over).
Up and dressed at 7:00.
I shadowed you, followed your agenda with wonder as you animated toy ponies elbow-deep in a tub of water.
At 9:30, you swung on the wooden swing from our oldest tree, pumping your legs, giggling because you just learned how.
Look how I go!
I wanted to say “yes” today more than “no.”
So when you requested hot cocoa at 3:00, after playing outside in 104-degree heat, I poured an extra large mug.
You said, I want to build a puppet theater with clowns
and silly pigs and puppies.
I said sure, why not?
We did the best we could with pink construction paper,
duct tape and scissors.
You took a picture.
You swam in the pool and ate salty chips and watermelon, licking salt off your chlorine-wrinkled fingertips.
Let’s play music and dance, Mommy, you said.
I envied the way you twirl, so light and free, your body unencumbered
by self-consciousness that I know someday will come.
Can I whisper something in your ear, you ask.
Of course, I say.
Are you happy, Mommy?
You know if you ever get angry and lose your temperature,
I’ll glue it back on for you.
Thanks. Where does it go?
Right there, on your neck.
Alright. Yep. Still there.
I can’t help but think this is the most magical age, you wading ankle-deep in the waters of your life. Neither here nor there. Not toddler or child. You know more, you see more, you FEEL more than ever. Your confidence is bursting one moment, scarce the next.
Of course, I thought this before about every age, declaring it the most fun, the most special so far. I look at your brother, two years behind you and I remember the magic of two-and-a-half.
Adult me is utterly exhausted sometimes, overwhelmed with this task, being mama. Four-year-old me is so completely grateful to hold your hand, to have a front row seat to your happy childhood.