So Good

There’s a 4-year-old in my house. It’s an odd thing. She climbs counters to fill her water glass, peels pistachios on her own. Yesterday, I caught her washing her hands unprompted after a bout with sidewalk chalk and I thought, Oh. This is what they were talking about.

They. The women who pull you aside with wet eyes and say, It goes so fast.

It does, but it doesn’t.
It doesn’t, but it does.

Our days lately have been simple, but full, like slow-churned strawberry ice cream. Rich, sweet, light.


It’s been a summer of bonding for us. We’re moving into a nice little rhythm here and what is it they say about rhythm? You dance better with your eyes closed?

I suppose that’s it. Eyes closed.

I’ve been closing my eyes to what I hear makes a good mother, to what I hear makes a good child. I’ve been closing my eyes to my Twitter stream. I’ve been closing my eyes to my desperate temptation to define everything, to fix everything. I have been closing my eyes to my own small mind.

I’ve been closing my eyes to the tomatoes that rotted in our garden, to the laundry room door that still – what? six years later? – is missing trim around its frame.

I’ve been closing my eyes to the sticker scraps on the floor, to the growing pains, to the current state of our “guest room” (junk pile).

I’ve been closing my eyes to what yesterday should have been and what tomorrow might look like.

And I’ve been dancing, eyes open to something else.

I read often that it’s not our life’s circumstances that weigh us down, but most often, it’s our expectation of life’s circumstances.

My life wasn’t supposed to look like this, we say.
This isn’t how it’s supposed to be, we argue.

We look around with wide eyes and wonder where the music has gone.

Bee’s current favorite tune to twirl to: Sweet Caroline.

Good times never seemed so good
I believe they never could…

We’re holing up. Staying home. Taking slow, long afternoon naps. Taking care of each other. Dancing in the kitchen. Eyes closed.

Tuning out the noise, turning up Neil Diamond.

What would you like to have for a treat on your birthday? I ask her.

Ice cream, she says. Strawberry.

(So good. So good.)

We have a sweet little lull in our days before the schedule ramps up, before travel commitments, before project timelines, before my mornings fill with the upcoming launch of the book. But for today and the rest of a hot summer, we’re pushing pause, hoping it will work to slow the churn of strawberry time.

It does, but it doesn’t.
It doesn’t, but it does.

  • Four year olds are strange little beasts. In a lovely, and sometimes tear your hair out kind of way. So many questions. Such helpful souls. It took me a while to adjust to the temperament of four, but a mere 6 month later I find myself in a happy groove of routine, little chores, thousands of googly eyes, and a sweet girl who wants me and her little brother as her best friends. (Not Dad, though, because he doesn’t make impulse purchases at Target. Ha!)

    • strange little beasts indeed. and ha, i’m laughing at the target impulse purchases. what else is that dollar section for? ;)

  • Oh Erin…how are these gals of ours 4!!! Sometimes I really can’t believe how fast it has all gone by. I have mixed emotions about the independence that comes along with this age. On the one hand I’m happy that Isley can play on her own quietly, make her own snack plate and also wash her grubby little hands anytime she feels. On the other I’m surprised by how much I miss doing some of those things for her and how emotional her turning 4 has made me at times. All the mama feels aside it has been such a fun and sassy age so far!

  • We’ll have a 4-year-old of our own in 6 Big Sleeps and it blows my mind. He already (firmly) knows his fave color is orange, that he really, REALLY wants water balloons at his party, that his cake should have a rainbow sprinkle batman logo on top…it goes so quickly yet he’s still, and always will be, my baby. Even when he’s bigger than me. Big, weepy hugs to you!

  • I love the idea of closing my eyes and just going with the “music” as I have a 16 year old and a 13 year old and I am so often focusing on the things that are supposed to be getting done and the doing them the right way OR ELSE. The time goes so very fast as I watch my babies on their way out the door – makes me want to close my eyes for so many reasons.

    • i totally hear you, sheri-rose! i’m not as far on my path, but i feel the pull of time for sure. :)

  • Oh how I needed to read this today! Thank you! I am wanting to learn how to close my eyes…it’s scary!! Thanks for sharing this insight, it might just be the push I needed. I think i’ll probably re-read this post everyday for a while!:)

  • the way you write… your words, they give me goosebumps and a complete truth resides over my whole being, every time! thank you for sharing all of it. and, as for the growing up and the cherishing and the goodness of every stage… yes, yes, yes! our own children, ages… soon-to-be-sixteen down to wil-be-five-this fall… each one and every age has been a blast of energy and excitement (and yes tiredness, but so worth it kind of tired!) you have so much to look forward to! xx

  • I am a new subscriber and reading some recent posts. My first born is also 4 and so it’s been fun to hear your reflections on how the journey is changing. New questions and a new type of enjoyment rising. Your words give me a hook for my experience. An amen and a head nod. I am enjoying your thoughts on this curve of the road.

    • Kate, such a kind comment to receive! And aren’t 4 year olds just the greatest things? Such gifts. :)
      Sending you big hugs!

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