Yesterday I woke up at 8 am, alone in my room, because the sun was shining in my face. It’s been a long time since I had an “oh no why didn’t the baby wake me?” moment of panic, since one of the kids usually comes upstairs to wake me around 6:30. But we took the baby gate down this week; I don’t have any babies anymore. I hopped out of bed shouting “Evan? Caroline?” and immediately heard two sets of feet running up the stairs. The kids ran into the room holding graham crackers and grinning. “Hi Mom!” said Evan, “I took Caroline downstairs. We’re having graham crackers and playing iPad and I fed Brutus!”

I don’t want to jinx anything but I’m fairly sure four is my favorite. He’s understood directions for while but now he understand emotions. He can read me like a book (better than a book, since he can’t actually read) and will call me out when I’m not at my best. Nothing cuts quite like having a four year old ask “Are you having a bad day, Mom? Do you need a hug?” Gut-punch, every time. It’s even more amazing when he does it with Caroline – I scolded her for running away at the grocery store and he took her hand and said “It’s OK, baby baby, you’re my best friend.” If you ever wanted to see a grown woman cry in a grocery store, that would have been a good moment. Standing between the bread and the lightbulbs I realized my oldest baby was a whole kid.

There’s no going back with this growing up thing. I few weeks ago the thought of sending him to real school on a bus was ridiculous. Today it seems inevitable. Of course he’s going to get on a bus. He’s going to get on a bus this September for pre-K and next September for Kindergarten and a few more Septembers for high school and then he’ll be taking a bus to some tropical location for a week-long Spring Break trip where the only thing keeping him alive is my voice in his head saying “WISE CHOICES!” That’s what I think about when my sweet-faced ginger boy says “Mommy, I want to sit on you” when I’m “too busy” for sitting. My kid still wants to hang out with me. I’ve got to enjoy that while I still can.

Evan gets himself out of bed, he picks out clothes from socks to shirt, gets himself dressed, chooses his breakfast, helps decide the days activities, puts on his own shoes, feeds the dog, is a great helper when we grocery shop, tells me the numbers and letters on the signs, goes to the bathroom alone (and ditched the nighttime pull-ups a few weeks ago!), helps cook and clean, can walk alone on a sidewalk, holds his sister’s hand, shares his stuff, plays well with others, eats (pretty) well, talks about his feelings, sits in time out willingly when he’s naughty, wants to see the pictures I take in the camera, can go on long walks, tells me when he’s tired and wants to go to bed, sleeps in any bed with just a kiss goodnight and an “I love you”, and sleeps 10-11 hours straight. He’s a whole kid. I feel super lucky, since hopefully I’ll get at least 4 good years of this independent-but-loving-person before the worst of the tweenage stuff hits. I’d take 40 years of this, as long as “this” was just like this week.

“Go stand under that tree and I’ll take your picture!” I said on the way home from our evening walk. “No Mom, take a picture of me doing this! It’s a good picture!” said my big kid. And he was right.

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13 Responses to “Kid”

  1. Sarah says:

    Cole is still firmly 3 – and, while I see glimpses of 4/Big Kid in him, the tantrums are strong with this one. What a cutie Evan is!

    • bebehblog says:

      I swear all the growing up happened right after his birthday. We haven’t had a real tantrum all month. KNOCKS ON ALLLLL THE WOOD.

  2. Audrey says:

    I am totally there with you on the 4 thing. Although i wish Ev was as interested in looking at the camera as Evan is!

  3. Erin says:

    Awww, I don’t even know what to say. That was just lovely! (the words and the pics)

  4. molly says:

    I’m telling ya, four-years-old has been magic! Now, don’t go to my blog and read my post from today because that is not a good idea of the magic I’m talking about. But really, four is so good and makes me look forward to the future.

    Also? Those photos? I DIE.

  5. raincheckmom says:


  6. Brigid Keely says:

    Aww, what a cutie!

    Niko’s starting to get self sufficient in the morning, too, helping himself to cereal and/or granola bars, juice boxes if there’s any in the fridge. I should start putting a lidded cup of milk or juice in the fridge for him to get by himself.

    I am not and never have been a morning person. The longer he spends feeding himself and playing quietly in the living room without me, the happier I am. Four is pretty great.

  7. emily bilbrey says:

    big ol’ lump in mah throat. this is beautiful, and i’m right here with you!! our KIDS are incredible. love it so much. all of it. <3<3<3

  8. Jody says:

    What a beautiful post! You’ve left me all teary.

  9. Naomi Colquitt says:

    Oh my goodness, I love him… And you. And definitely not in a creepy way! I swear we are long lost friends separated by time zones! This is beautiful–the words-the pictures! This whole post needs to be in print and given to him at high school graduation!!

  10. Amy says:

    I was touched and moved and all set to get teary and then you finished with seriously one of the cutest sets of photos of Evan ever and I forgot to cry.

  11. Betsy says:

    What a sweet post with great pics! My daughter will be 3 years old in 2 months. I’m scared of 3. I hear (and read) stories. LOL. But it’s nice to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel at 4!

  12. Barbra says:

    Beautiful post! Such a cute kid. We are firmly entrenched in two and a half-dom and it’s not always pretty. I see glimpses here and there of big kid so it’s not too far in the future. But I still definitely have a toddler :)

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