I hear parents talk all the time about wanting to keep their babies "babies forever." I mean, I'm all for treasuring each moment, and the whole embryo-to-crawling phase was great and all, but you won't hear me longing for the infant days. Honestly, who really misses those first few years of running on empty, changing thousands of diapers and cleaning up projectile vomit? Not this gal.
I do, however, enjoy age four. It's an exciting period of newly found independence and individuality, combined with genuine, unprompted expressions of pure love.
And of course it's the age of inquisition.
One of my all-time favorite books is "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" by Dr. Seuss. Soon after Cade entered the stage of relentless curiosity, I read it to him (for the umpteenth time). When I finished, he looked at me with total confusion and asked, "Why was that boy walking around by himself? Where was his mom?"
The moment my child started asking questions was the moment I began to doubt my own intelligence. I mean, why can't you be a peregrine falcon for a day, or shoot sticky webs from your wrists like Spiderman? What's really inside of lightning, and where does electricity come from?
The questions are endless, and simplifying the answers only complicates the questions. Confused? So am I.
Every day, Cade and I engage in our little love dialogue:
"I love you with all of my..."
"I love you all the way to..."
This is where he usually chimes in, asking me to count to infinity.
"Can't you just try?"
"No, son. It's physically impossible."
"Well, I'll just ask Siri then. She knows everything."
Kids these days.
Indeed, this last year has seen quite the transformation. In fact, we just moved to Bend from a little tourist town in southeast Utah, where we had spent the majority of Cade's life.
I had decided long ago that now would be the most practical time to make such a transition. Soon, Cade will be entering public school, forming new friendships and developing lasting memories. And of course I want the best for him.
But just to be clear, I suck at making decisions. What do I want for dinner? Which outfits should I pack? What should I name my child (this one took me nine months)? Where is the best place to raise said child?
Let me tell you, motherly instinct isn't just some fictional concept. Moms really do have a sixth sense. Case in point: I visited Bend for the first time just last month, and here we are now. Enough said.
I think time moves along at just the right speed, and last I checked it wasn't going backward. If you think it's all happening "in the blink of an eye," you should probably remove your blindfold.
Time to settle in and prepare for age five, which Cade seemed to explain perfectly the other day: "Mom, I'm going to be a fish and swim out to sea. Then I'll come back and tell you about all the things I saw."
Okay, maybe he's watched Finding Nemo one too many times.