Recently someone asked Parker how old he was. "Three and a half." He replied matter of factly.
Truly, his half birthday- if there is such a thing- is Christmas Eve. Then it will just be six months until his fourth birthday.
When he was SBG age, I was one of the few mom's I knew who was looking forward to his first birthday. I was excited to meet that milestone. Some mommies seemed to view that first birthday as the sad ending of a stage or bonding time. I looked at it as a date marking survival.
I survived my first year of mommyhood. My marriage survived that first grueling year of sleeplessness, snappy attitudes and general preoccupation with all things baby.
While there were many great parts of the first year that I wouldn't return even if I had the receipt, I was glad to move onto the next stage.
That is pretty much how I approached all of his birthdays.
I have a very good friend who does not have children (yet). She pointed out to me recently that every time she asks about Parker my answer is always the same, "This stage is my favorite." It's true, it just keeps getting better.
However, when I was standing there as Pman told the stranger that he was three and a half, I was struck by the closeness of his fourth birthday. In that moment my heart suddenly started racing and my eyes felt like they were burning in a pre-teary sort of way.
I want to through a lasso- well first learn how to lasso- around that fourth birthday and dig my heels in the ground kicking up all kinds of imaginary dust in an effort to delay its approach. I'm not sure why this birthday has hit me this way.
Maybe it's because that will be the last year I can play fast and loose with his school schedule- in by 9-ish out by 4-ish. Maybe it's because we are one year closer to Kindergarten and then he is basically off to college and raising a family of his own. Once he is in school five days a week I will have to squeeze Mommy-time in around weekend sports, birthday parties and homework.
When I get Pman up in the morning he usually says the same thing, "Is it not a school day? I wanna stay in my jammies a little bit longer."
I completely understand his desire to hold onto that comfy, present moment just a little bit longer.