magical, mystical FOUR

well, she did it. she turned 5. under a big texas sky on a glorious afternoon in december, she turned five. i can't believe it. blink of an eye. she's been 5 for a couple months now, and things are already a bit different. the other evening after lucy had gone to bed, i opened up a closet and there was "silky", the pink minky dot blanket that has been her nightly bedtime companion since birth. she had gone to bed without silky, and she didn't even notice. sigh. and she's getting more and more independent with each passing day. you should have seen the lunch she fixed herself a couple days ago. she got the barstool and moved it diligently around the kitchen gathering her supplies. she prepared the food and arranged her plate beautifully: orange slices (peeled by herself), boiled egg (previously boiled - don't worry), gold fish, sliced banana (she used a butter knife), a pb&j cut into a heart shape and a capri sun. cracked me up! she's been drawing pictures of justin "beaver" lately, and asked if we could get a lady gaga c.d.... where is this stuff coming from? then, yesterday as i was driving her to her playdate, we were talking about using manners and being polite to her friend's know, the please & thank you & yes ma'am, yes sir talk. there she sat in her pink booster seat, blonde hair pulled back sweetly in a headband, gently kicking the seat with little mary janes. her angelic voice was saying, "yes ma'am, mamma...i will"....then after a little pause she added, "aaaaaaand i shouldn't say idiot, butt, stupid, or WIENER, right mamma?? 'cause that would be rude??".... i about wrecked!!! what was that last word she said? excuse me? do i even want to know where that one came from? i gripped the wheel, choked a little, and said, "um, yes, you're right. that would be very rude"...

five is going to be a wild ride. so bring it on. i'm ready - let the wild rumpus begin!
i only have a couple more months to add to this post - i can't believe i have an almost five year old! now, i realize she won't automatically turn into a big kid when she turns five. but, i do know the time will come when she no longer begs to wear her beloved, worn pink bunny tee every day. eventually she will not need "piggy-n-silky" whenever she's sleepy, or simply feeling out of sorts. some day she'll stop tip-toeing into our bed, quiet as a mouse in the middle of the night. maybe she'll eventually stop announcing the details of each and every visit to the bathroom. as time goes on she may not need a band aid for a multitude of imaginary boo-boos. some day soon the word "underwear" will no longer produce hysterical bouts of laughter. i know lots of things will change in the next couple of years. but i hope some things never do: the sparkle in her eyes when she hugs her little sister, her incredibly infectious giggle (will she ever be too old to tickle?), her adventurous spirit, ("can i ski next, daddy?") her tenacity (though occasionally infuriating), her adoration for all living creatures - from grasshoppers & snakes to cats & dogs, the way she gets completely and utterly sucked into story books and movies, the way her sweet, simple prayers can bring you to your knees....i could go on for days. she's just such a cool little kid... and while i know some things are bound to change, i'm pretty sure some things never will.

i'm continuing to add to the post below from spring...images of this fleeting time....the year that lucy is four. i want to remember the pruned pool fingers, the marathon baths, the craft paint that covers my kitchen table (and floor), the cookie crumbs in the porch swing, the unabashed dancing in dress-up clothes when she thinks no one is watching, the bare feet prancing across the hot july pavement on starboard circle. if only time could stand still, if even for a moment...

"There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million".
-Walt Streightiff

i will continue to add day-in-the-life images to this post for many months, while lucy is still at this delicious (albeit often devilish) age of four. at the end of this post i've quoted from "To a Child" by Christopher Morley. i've always loved this particular poem, but these days the words are oh so much more meaningful. how quickly time flies! i blinked a couple of times and my lucy grew out of her leg ringlets (no offence, lucy - they were irresistibly adorable. feel free to peruse lucy's babybook for proof if you are up to the task. it weighs a little more than lucy did when she was born - just a little fair warning). four is a truly magical age. in the eyes of a four year old, every-day things suddenly become extraordinary: a periwinkle weed growing through the crack in the front walk, a ladybug scurrying in the window sill, two new teeth peeking out of baby sister's mouth, a pool of rainwater in the sandbox, the first blinking firefly of the evening or a postcard from gammy in the mailbox. each new day brings some delightful mystery only a four year old can appreciate, and i must remind myself to slow down and pay attention. i thank God each day for the priceless gift of lucy, and for the opportunity to see His world through the eyes of a four year old once again.

An excerpt from Christopher Morley's
"To a Child"

The greatest poem ever known
Is one all poets have outgrown:

The poetry, innate, untold
Of being only four years old.
Still young enough to be a part
Of Nature's great impulsive heart,
Born comrade of bird, beast, and tree
And unselfconscious as the bee --
And yet with lovely reason skilled
Each day new paradise to build;
Elate explorer of each sense --
Without dismay, without pretense! .....

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