My sweet and feisty baby girl turned 4 at the end of March. This was definitely not how I pictured this birthday going for her, and it makes my heart a little sad, but I know that it didn’t affect her as much as it does me. 4 feels like a little bit of a milestone to me. I spent a number of years before I had my own children, working with other people’s children, and I found that the toddler/preschool age (2-3) was always my least favorite. Especially 3. And I have worked with the entire spectrum of ages. I just had an incredibly difficult time with that stage. So when my very sweet and easygoing baby girl started to turn the corner into that age, and started acting out the way that 2 and 3 year olds do, I honestly had a little bit of dread going on in my mind. Or a lot. I wanted to love and eagerly anticipate every precious stage of her life…but I had a very hard time doing that with that one. I knew that it would be really hard, but that once we made it to 4, it would probably get easier. But I also knew that by then, my baby would be gone and there would be a little girl in her place. And now we’re here. And it truly does seem that even in the one week that she has been 4 years old so far, that she suddenly does seem more grown up. She is already starting to test boundaries less, and to use her words to express her feelings more, and to do grown up things like apologize sincerely without prompting. And I am so thankful that that other stage is past, but at the same time, I find myself mourning it a little bit. And so I guess we just come back to every parent’s never-ending, never-answered question: why must they grow up so fast? ❤️
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