I am trying to be patient. I take lots of deep breathes. I think before I speak. I keep in check the new voice that has emerged in the last week; deep and firm it sounds so unlike me.
Still she pushes me. She continues to lick me after I politely ask her not to. She tickles me until it isn't fun anymore. She comes running to tell us that she has drawn the length of wall with a pen, even though she knows she isn't supposed to. She throws sand at the park and then asks if it is on the new list of family rules we hung up on the wall. When I say yes, she does it again.
Is this four? Because four is coming and I am no longer eagerly anticipating it.
But I hug her hard every chance I get. I rest my hand on her head so we will both be reminded of our connection. I rub her leg as she sits beside me so she will know I am there. And I try so hard to be present with her.
I watched her at the park this afternoon. I made the moment stop so I could etch in my mind the sight of her standing beside the lifeguard in her navy blue polka dot bathing suit, pink heart shaped sunglasses on and glass of lemonade in her hand, watching the ruckus in the pool. Taking it all in.