There’s just something about a 4-year-old.
The way their bubbly laughs and sweet little faces still have some traces of babyhood while they’re transforming into more and more of their own unique person right before your eyes.
The way they ask questions about everything under the sun, listen wide-eyed to your clumsy answers, and believe every single word you say. It’s so innocent (and scary) the way they believe absolutely anything you tell them—just because you’re “mommy.”
The way their still-a-little-chubby hand finds yours.
And the way they still come running to you for a hug and kiss when they’re hurt. Or the way they simply can’t survive without a Band-Aid even if there’s no wound in sight.
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The way they dream about all the big things they’ll be one day—like policemen or firefighters or garbage truck drivers or superheroes—and then search through the whole house for just the right dress-up clothes to fit the part.
The way their eyes light up at the sight of a flimsy fort or hideout you throw together with sheets and pillows. And the way they beg you to come along on all their magical expeditions with their magical thinking.
The way they fall asleep with the most random objects. And the way they ask for a million stories, a million snacks, a million glasses of water, and a million other questions and comments at the end of a very long day.
The way they’re quick to escalate and sometimes difficult to calm, but also often so quick to forgive.
Or maybe they’re more quick to forget because they’re so easily sidetracked by a storybook or a kitten walking by or whatever little thing that makes the world right again. The way they “breathe in deep and count to four” with Daniel Tiger when they’re tempted to roar.
The way nothing in their little hearts could possibly be better than birthdays and Christmases and Easter egg hunts and ice cream trucks and playgrounds and puppies—their exuberance over all the joys in this life is contagious.
The way they’re in utter awe over the way you drive a car, mow the grass, work a blender, tie a shoe, play an instrument.
The way they look up at you and say without words, “You’re my hero.”
And the way they make you want to rise up to really be the hero they so confidently believe you are.
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The way they admire all the little details in this beautiful world that you barely think to notice at all anymore.
William Blake once said, “Know what it is to be a child . . . to see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wildflower. Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.”
I want to do that, and I’m so blessed to have a 4-year-old leading the way.