Dear Isla: You have said all year long that “being 4 is hard,” and while you most often say this after getting caught drawing on a wall or jumping on the couch, I couldn’t agree more.
“It’s because you have grown and learned so much,” I would reply, and you would nod, full of the wisdom I wish I had at twenty that you already have at 4.
But that wisdom has come with a steep price.
You have had fewer peopling experiences with family and friends.
You have had fewer outside experiences than most due to Covid.
You had to stop visiting Ms. Debbie, Ms. Katie, and Alexander because of Covid.
You might not ever remember what life was before a mask. And now you question those at the store who are not wearing masks. Your eyes show a sense of curiosity and betrayal before the words pop out from behind dinosaurs or baby yoda covering your mouth: “Mom, why don’t they have a mask on?”
So while being 4 is hard, it also is due to your daily learning. And you have learned so much this year!
You learned how to ride a hoverboard
How to put the flag up on the mailbox
How to share at school
That there are 26 letters in the alphabet
A few sight words
Learned to count
How to be a good friend
How to put away your sweater
How to draw a turkey and a pumpkin
How to get a hot lunch
How to pack a cold lunch
How to get on the bus
How to get off the bus
How to say good bye.
And lately, Isla, you have said good bye more than you would have liked.
You said good bye to
Your TV tray and watching spot
Your Carla and Steve…
But 5 offers a lot of hellos.
You will get to meet your new cousin
See grandparents again in other states
Learn to read
Learn to ski
Learn to write a letter
Ride your bike without training wheels
Swim confidently without floaties
Sing your alphabet without messing up Q-Z
Feeding Boo on your own
Flying in a plane
Riding in a train
Stop sleeping with mom & dad (hopefully lol!)
And while saying good bye is hard, even saying goodbye to a hard year 4, some day you will also understand that it is only hard because of the memories and loving relationships you’ve helped create. I hope year 5 brings you many more hellos than goodbyes, but I also want you to remember why goodbyes are also so powerful. It is what Winnie the Pooh taught me so long ago: “How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”