Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Four-Year-Old

He brings home school papers with the name "Willia" written in big, cresendo letters on the top.

"Where's the 'M'?" I ask.

"Oh, there just wasn't room, Mom," he says matter-of-factly.

He reads to me from his Beginning Readers books.  This time it's "The Lion and the Mouse."

Page One:  "Once there was this huge lion and he was really, really, really big.  And then there was this little, little mouse.  And the mouse said, 'Hi.'  And then the lion said, 'Hi.  Do you want to be my friend?'  And then the mouse said, 'Sure!'

"William," I say, "You have to read the words in the book otherwise it's not reading."

"Oh," He says.

I feel guilty, having thwarted his imagination.

"But I like it this way better," he says.

And I kind of agree.

He wakes up in the middle of the night in sobs.  This never happens.

Brian and I race in his room to see what happened.

"I had a bad dream," he says between whimpers.

"I'm sorry buddy," says Brian, "What happened in your bad dream?"

"I COULDN'T PET ELLIE!" He screams.

Ellie is my in-law's dog and William hearts her, to say the least.

"When I grow up I want to be a dad," he tells me one day at lunch.

"Oh really," I say, "Who do you think you'll marry?"

"I don't know," he ponders, "Maybe you.  Or maybe Lucy."

So far I'm kind of loving four.  So much eagerness and enthusiasm for learning.  So many grand ideas.  So many quests for independence.

But still so little.  Still needs a mom to wipe away tears.  I can still make out where his baby fat used to reside on that handsome little face of his.

He's sick this week.  I think I love my kids the most when they are sick.  There is little whining.  Or crying.  Or jumping or running or overall loudness.  There's just the beat of the house and a little person curled up in the crook of my arm, reminding me, he's only just four.

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