Wednesday, January 30, 2013

She is four

As with most birthdays, today's celebration was marked by special meals and snacks. 
The kitchen table was the setting for most of the day's events. We put out a bouquet of pink and white flowers in the middle for her to see this morning at breakfast, we laid out her cards and gifts at one end, and served her very special birthday meals at her place of honour. Everything she ate today had rainbow sprinkles on it: her birthday blueberry pancakes, her peanut butter wrap at lunch, her pineapple pizza at dinner, and of course her birthday cupcakes. 
She felt and acted like the queen of the day, she received some thoughtful gifts from family, and she loved answering calls from far away and hearing people sing to her. 
This year, she turns four. Not a baby at all, not a toddler, and marching onward toward being a kid. She can use the bathroom by herself, wake up, get dressed, brush her teeth and get a drink by herself. She can answer the phone, get the babies undressed (albeit violently), draw a picture of herself under the sun, paint the sky with watercolours, climb the snowplow mountain at the end of our street and hike through the woods for an hour. 
So what does she need me for? Hopefully the things she'll need from me for a while. She needs reassurance when she's learning something new, with subtle, calm guidance as she goes. She needs cuddles when she's sad, and help to find the right words to describe how she's feeling. She needs me to wrap her up in blankets and help her fall asleep, and she needs to see me smile at her when she wakes up. She needs me to show her how to best handle frustration, annoying noises, guilt, anger and sadness. She needs to know I am there when she wakes up at night with a tummy ache. She needs my undivided attention when she has something to say or show. 
I love how she is growing and though I catch myself getting tired that some things are taking her so long to learn, I remind myself quite quickly that though the days are long, the years are short.
After all, this was only four short years ago, or the blink of an eye:

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