This weekend, you turned four years old. You were so excited to turn four years old. For months you asked how many weeks it would be before you turned four, and for weeks you asked that we count down the days until you turned four, and for days you insisted that we tick off the hours until you turned four, and when the day finally came you said “Guess what, Mommy? Today, I am FOUR.”
And I smiled and hugged you and said “yes, yes, I know.”
Because, how could I not? I too count the days. I have counted and marked and committed to memory every single day of your life. Every single day of your life has been one of the most precious days of my life and so, yes, I count them, I count them as yours and I count them as my own and I cherish every one. I have counted every day of this year, your fourth year, our fourth year. The day that you first rode your big-girl bike, the day that you first spelled your name, the day that you climbed up into your treehouse and declared it your Super Special Magic Castle, the day that you let your brother into your Super Special Magic Treehouse Castle Club, the day that you put him on the slide and pushed him out after making sure that I was down below. The day that you told me that you were a really good big sister, but sometimes not, because being good is hard. The day that you told your first poo joke. The day that you told your second and third and fourth and fifth and sixth poo jokes. The day that we moved on from poo jokes to pee jokes to pee jokes involving trolls and bridges and chickens and then back to poo jokes again.
The day that you told me that you wanted to learn three things – to play drums properly, to drive a race car, and to tie your shoelaces – and that it would be okay if learning to tie shoelaces came first. The day that you amended that list to include learning to ride a motorcycle and learning to be a doctor but only the kind that doesn’t give needles because needles are scary. The day that you joined your soccer team, and the day you first played goal. The day you decided that you didn’t like tofu wieners anymore. The day that you declared you would always love pickles. The day that you packed your own backpack and went to your first day of Big Kid School. The day you told me that you wanted to go to big kid school every day. The day you told me that you wanted to stay home because you loved me too much to go. The day you made your own pancakes from scratch, sort of. The day that you made your Grandpa a house in heaven. The day that you said you would love me forever. All the days that you said you would love me forever. All the days that I said I will love you forever, too.
All those days, I count them with you. We have counted so far now, and now you are four, and now we are four, and now you say to me, “Mommy, how many days until I am five?”
I’m counting them, sweetie. I’m counting them.