So, he's been four a measly week, and so much has changed already. It's like those big shards of rock salt rubbing deep into my wounds. All traces of 'little' are gone.
Last night I asked for a hug, a huge hug, and he jumped up into my arms and wrapped his legs tight around my middle. Those legs, that were once soft and stubby, now wrap entirely around me. Where did the time go? I remember the soft and stubbiness, but what about all the in between that led to these long & lanky limbs?
I want everything to just stop for a bit. It's going too fast.
The other day Mr. P gave Solo a shower and washed his hair. As we got Rainer ready for bed, we let Solo sit and watch a TV show. The way the light landed on his damp hair made it glow. The layers of hair fell in such a lovely way onto his forehead, and Mr. P ran his fingers through it, looking wistfully at me, "You know, someday a girl he loves will run her fingers through his hair just like this."
No. nononononono. Nooo. Not yet.
Somehow the change from 3 to 4 has been the most drastic so far. I was so ready for this, (the emotional upheaval that was 3 was welcome to leave long ago) but also 3 was definitely the last year of "littleness." Now it's just big boy through and through, and I'm not so sure I recognize this kid who closes the door to use the bathroom, and can put his socks on all by himself. Yet, in the same breath, my love for him just multiplies with each year, like I never thought it would, or could.
It's been 10 days now since he last sucked his thumb. On August 1st, the eve of his fourth birthday, we went for it. Again. We'd been down this road before. Lectures from the dentist, incentives, prizes. But, he was never ready until now. Simple as that.
The first 2-3 days or so were extremely rough. Watching his little heart and mind and body struggle against the urge to do something that he so naturally had done every single day for almost four years broke my momma heart. But, it wasn't me, it was HIM. He had made up his mind to stop, and as hard as it was, he wasn't giving up. Laying beside him in bed as he tossed and turned, heaving sighs of frustration, and ultimately laying on top of his hands to fall asleep, I choked back tears. The intensity of his independence in those moments overwhelmed me. He is 100% his own person.
And a breathtakingly wonderful one at that.