Four years ago, I was going through the longest night of my life, as I laboured all through the night (36 hours total). Tonight, I’ve only got a nagging headache and a massive birthday party to get ready for tomorrow… not nearly as exciting as it was to know that there was a new person on the way, but ah, such, a beautiful memory to have.
Margo was having a really tough day, all day. She had several meltdowns, wasn’t cooperating and didn’t seem to be hungry at all. She wanted lots of cuddles and kept asking for special time, with just the two of us. Finally, just before bed, I said to her, “Geez, Margo, you had a really rough day, didn’t you?”
In the dim light, I could see her lip do its little pre-cry tremble and I heard the whimper she lets out before a full blown cry.
She let it out, “I want to be three forever!”
Oh… Miss Margo, my sensitive little soul, so that’s what’s been bothering you. “I know that feeling too,” I told her. The feeling you get on the night before a birthday… the feeling that you’ll never get to be the age you are again (in this lifetime, that is, if you believe in that stuff).
“I don’t want to turn four, I want to be a little girl forever!” She was sobbing and could barely get her words out.
I smiled… a four year old is still totally a tiny little kid. But, in her mind, turning four certainly meant she was all grown up. I remember feeling that way, myself. Although, I think I was way older, like 9 or 10 when I first remember having those thoughts. Becoming aware that you are aging.
“Can I still be a little girl tomorrow?” she asked.
“Margo,” I said, “Your age changes and your body changes, but YOU don’t ever change. You are who you are for the rest of your life. Does that make sense?” (now I was crying too). My husband came in when he heard her crying and said pretty much the same thing (except of course he reminded her that birthday parties so much fun and are a great way to celebrate who you are).
I kissed her forehead a million times and rubbed her back and she fell asleep in a few minutes. But, right before she drifted off to sleep, I told her that she would always be my little girl, no matter how old she was… She smiled and said, “Ok, good, then I don’t have to worry.” Oh to be four… Good night little babe, and please don’t worry about turning four!