Tuesday, March 25, 2014


There was something about being the parent of a three-year-old that made me feel like my children, and family I suppose, was a young one. We no longer have babies in the house, but somehow three seemed not so far removed from all of that baby stuff.

Now Miss Ellie is four. And when I stop and look at her, she seems so grown up to me.

The truth is, Ellie has never acted her age. She has this amazing vocabulary. It's her gift. Don't ask her to walk a straight line, or across a room without bumps or bruises... she's as klutzy as ever. Rather, ask her to describe or recount a scene and she'll do it beautifully and elaborately.

Just last week she was explaining her "opportunity to spend time swimming at the hotel." I was unreasonably giddy to hear those words... I tried to get her to say it again, this time with film rolling; I wanted so badly to capture that moment in full audio. But she was on to me. I had missed my "opportunity."

Even without the audio, she looks older. More than anything, that's what strikes me. Ellie is as tall as some of her school-aged cohorts at daycare. She looks as though she's ready for school. Combined with that amazing vocabulary, it prompts people treat her differently... people, including me. She looks older, she should know better. She should be able to do those big-kid things. She shouldn't be so emotional.

She looks older, but doesn't know better... can't do all of those things and four IS emotional. (For everyone in the vicinity.)

Reminding myself that she's just a little girl is something I do frequently. Despite how fast she's growing and changing, she is indeed a little girl. A little girl who could use some slow, quiet words of comfort, designed in size for a four-year-old.

I love being a part of her growth and witnessing her change. (Although some days are easier to witness than others.) She's so delightfully different from her brothers and in many ways doesn't act like a sibling... she has a mothering personality. I love the way she'll hold someones hand or stroke a cheek the way only a loving mother can. The way she calls the subject of her affection "honey" makes my heart melt.

She's four now. Still young. Still my little girl. I don't think any of that will change, no matter how big her words or how old she looks.

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