Turning numbers

Tomorrow is CJ’s birthday, and she is over the moon, not to mention deluded. She thinks she will turn four on her birthday, and then turn five two weeks later when we have her birthday party. And when we mention the possibility of a birthday dinner during her grandfather’s visit, she thinks that means she will turn six. “If you want to keep growing,” a classmate told her, “you’ve got to turn numbers.”

Her eagerness to turn numbers got me thinking about a conversation we had eight months ago, when she was three years and four months, and just starting to see the big picture.

“I can’t wait to turn four,” she said.

“What’s your hurry?” I asked. “It’s nice to be small. Don’t you like being three?”

“Not really,” she said.

“Why not?”

“It’s, like, not big enough.”

“For what?” I asked.

And then I remembered. Three isn’t big enough to sit in the front seat. It’s not big enough to cross the street by yourself. It’s not big enough to sit at the dinner table without a booster, to stay up past dark, or to taste those interesting colored drinks that Daddy sometimes has at night.

Everyone dotes on you when you’re three, and I think CJ appreciates that. But she also sees that her horizons are pretty narrow.

“Fruities” for CJ’s class on her fourth birthday.
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