Let’s be honest; three was hard. Not only was there a ridiculous amount of change in Caroline’s fourth ride around the sun, but three, oh the challenges of three. Our headstrong Caroline became even more so. She grew up in so many ways. Her vocabulary skyrocketed (“also,” “disappointed,” “idea,” “guys”). She has such an understanding of the world around her (“Mommy, that is a fox.” I can see the moon, it must be getting dark soon!”) She also grew in height, shooting up like a little sapling, though that did little to help her from getting stuck in the snow yesterday. If it was up to my hips imagine how deep it was for her. I can barely remember the baby she was as I watch her “reading” a story, listen to spontaneously craft a song about whatever is going on around her, or smell that full head of boingy springy curls.
She keeps me grounded. When it’s my turn to do the daycare pick up and my patience has hit the wall, her simple presence in the car asking me to play “auntie colleen’s song” or to turn up the radio so she can bop her head calms me, brings me back to the happy reality of my real life. Let’s not pretend Caroline is always serenity inducing. She bangs around like she has eaten ½ a bag of sugar most evenings during the dreaded dinner prep, screaming for no reason, so full of energy that I often can’t hear myself think and often beg her to please.stop.please.
For all the frenetic makes me crazy behavior, the incomprehensible attitude and the ridiculous whining, Caroline makes me laugh. She makes me shake my head in disbelief with some completely random fact she suddenly knows (“when ice melts it turns into water”), she makes me laugh out loud (“when will the wind blow all the snow away?”) and she pushes my heart to the limit with her tight squeezes, her requests that I sit next to me, and her shining beautiful brown eyes.
Caroline loves all things girly; dress up (her current favorite is the slip from under my first communion dress), dancing (she goes onto the toes of her sneakers when she wants to be a ballerina), listening to music and singing along, being Mommy (“you can be sister, ok Mommy?”), pretending to be Miss Melissa from school, practicing her coloring skills on page after page of Disney Princesses, and she can still cook a mean bowl of soup in the kitchen – though lately she’s more into dinner prep chopping her Velcro veggies or making individual cupcakes with Velcro cake decorations. She loves pink, but she also loves maroon and gold and can spot a BC hat or shirt across a restaurant. She loves hockey, pretends to use the clicker to put “football on for Daddy,” and she asked us recently to teach her how to ice skate. She draws robots and monsters and dinosaurs. She loves playing with Connor’s toys; banging hammers, racing cars, and tossing balls. When she doesn’t want to share something she stuffs in under her behind and sits on it, a skill she must have perfected at school. When she wants you to play with her she will not take no for an answer thrusting whatever object she wants to SHARE WITH YOU ALREADY into your lap, into your hands, or into your face. She recently wrote her name without any adult help. She sweetly helps her brother and her affection for him grows daily. She understands more than I knew a four year old was capable. She has full conversations with me about silly things and serious things alike. God, I love her.

It would be impossible to list all the things she learned, did, and said this year. It would take several posts to share her many accomplishments. I simply could not do this year justice in that way and let’s face it, you wouldn’t have the stamina to read it all. Instead, allow me to share the shining moment of her fourth birthday party.

Each year the party guests gather around the table to sing a rousing rendition of “happy birthday.” Prior to this year she has shied from the attention, afraid or unable to blow out her own candles. I didn’t dare put a party hat on her head because at best she wouldn’t wear it, at worst she would collapse into an unhappy “everyone is looking at me and now you put a hat on my head” puddle of tears. This year, our birthday girl plopped her “birthday princess” party hat wearing self directly in front of her cake and waited patiently for the world to celebrate her birth through song. She soaked up the love and attention and I could barely believe my eyes. She smiled. She blew out all four candles spelling her shortened moniker in order, “C.A.R.O.” I am proud of her everyday, but on that day, at that moment, as I watched her blow out the candles on that mini cake, I could almost see her smiling as she blew out the candles on her next 99 birthday cakes. I saw a glimpse of the future confident, affectionate, brilliant Caroline she will become. We’re doing ok. She’s growing up and whatever four has up its sleeve, bring it.


  1. When I read your posts and those of other parent-bloggers, I think the best part of being a parent has got to be seeing the world open up to your children and watching their wonderment. It's like the world renews every day through them. And yeah, I know there are sucky days when it's a struggle, but these are the days that carry you through the sucky days. Kind of like the memory of summer carries us through snow storm after snow storm after snow storm.....

  2. happy, happy caroline! we need to see you again soon....i bet you're a changed girl! xxoox