Ready For Four

With three weeks to go (argh! presents are not finalised, I thought we had four weeks still) until Charles turns four I've really been thinking about the past four years. We all do it, we can't help but to think about how far we've all come in that time. Us as parents, our children, all of us as a family.

The most common thing people say is "I can't believe he's going to be four" or "Wow, can you believe he's going to be four?"
And I find myself answering with the standard expected answer of "No, I can't believe it, it's gone so quickly".
But actually I can believe it. Yes the four years have gone quickly but when I think back to the things we have done, thinking about how much we've fit in, the fact we've had another baby, the fact Charles is quite grown up (at times) it doesn't seem too much of a surprise really.

It feels like he's been three forever. His third birthday in some ways seems like it wasn't too long ago but then in other ways seems like it was ages ago, especially when we look at photos and notice how much he (and Harry) has changed.

It's also really exciting because this year he will really understand the whole celebration aspect around birthdays. Although he knew this before in terms of birthday= presents, cake, party, fun, I think now it's different because he's older and knows what a birthday is.
I think having a brother made it easy for him to understand what a birth-day actually is. He knows that on Harry's birth-day he was all of a sudden not in my tummy anymore, and had been born.

It feels like we've been saying for a long time that we have a three year old and we're all ready to move onto the next step and embrace four.
It's certainly going to be a big year for him with him starting big boy school in September. I think the fact we've all been talking about that and thinking about school for a while now also contributes to our being ready for him to be older.

I always thought I would dread birthdays. Not the celebration aspect but the fact that my children are getting older and I no longer have babies and will soon be teenagers, but I really feel this sense of excitement.
Excitement of what is to come, the challenges he will face and how he will deal with them, his developments.
Excitement for him because I know he is really looking forward to starting school. Whether or not he'll like it is a completely different matter although he still loves preschool and wants to go everyday.

I'm ready for the challenges a four year old may bring too. I'm sure a lot of it will be filled with fun, funny things he'll be saying, pride in the things he's achieving. But I also know we'll be experiencing and facing his sense of independence and his "testing the boundries" for want of a better term.
Us all adjusting to our roles in the family, and in life. And although in a way I would want to hold off a lot of that, as those are challenges I'm not sure I want to face, especially as we may be hit by the terrible twos in the same year, I know it's just part of life and part of his development.

We'll embrace every moment.

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