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A Delightful Daughter

Posted by Patience on March 19, 2010 at 12:41 AM in NatureRaising Girls
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I don't even know what kind of flower it is, but she calls them her Ruby flowers. They grow on a tree in our back yard and every day she goes out back to pick whatever she can reach on her tiptoes. She carries them around and sings princess songs with a warbled voice, she "plants" them to grow new beautiful trees all over the yard, she takes them apart to string for a necklace. It is her very own utopia, created for and by her in her four-year-old world.

When she is done playing with them, she brings them inside and ties a bouquet. I find tiny bunches all over the house in all kinds of made up vases. Their deep red matches this fiery little girl who is just delightful. If you had told me there would be such a level of loveliness a year ago while in the thick of age three, I would have laughed but secretly believed you. Her light has always been there but it seems so bright these days.

When we walk the dog she can barely wait for the lawn with all the "candy lions" (dandelions). She picks every last one and somehow by magic there are more everyday. While we walk home she places one on each walk of every neighbor as an act of anonymous kindness. I smile and remember days when even weeds were special.

There is no shortage of joy and living completely in the moment. She tells me each morning when I try to wake her up that she can not possibly go to school because she is too tired. Only minutes later when she is fully awake that she totally changes her mind and insists we must leave that same minute. I find a contraband tiny stuffed animal in her school bag almost every day. I ask her about it and every day she insists that it is her show-and-tell day even though it isn't. We haggle and she finally relents in order to not miss all of the awesome of her pre-school.

She pulls old cereal and juice boxes out the recycling to make presents for her friends. I find dress up shoes in an old Capri-Sun box tied up with rainbow colored yarn, they are for Maris. I know this because she has a card sitting on top with a picture of two stick figure friends holding hands while a smiley face sun shines down on them.

I try to soak in the magic of four, the delightful time of independence mixed with the innocence of the imaginative mind. I mark this in my mind as one of my most favorite ages. I sit and chat with my most delightful daughter.

What is your favorite age(s)? What does the delightfulness look like to you? Share with us in the comments.


Amy writes...

Thank you for reminding me of the joys of observing my own four year old. I needed a reminder! She too is a big fan of candy lions this time of year.

Carrie writes...

Reading this just made my day. It's a reminder that I, too, should find magic in the small things!

Elise writes...

Mine are all grown up now...four was a beautiful age.

David writes...

4 is nice, 5 is better, 6 is better yet, and 7 is the tops. After that I can't say because my oldest is 7.

Devon writes...

What a great story and precious little girl. It made smile just thinking about my beautiful 2 year old daughter. It's the little things in life that make this world and every day delightful. People don't stop enough to pick flowers :)

Dave writes...

I love that kid! What a great little personality.

Colleen writes...

Aw your daughter is the sweetest girl. She must be soooo much fun. She reminds me of my daughter at that age. My daughter is now a junior in college and we are still so very close. She is patient and kind all the attributes that I've always struggled with she possesses. She has taught me so much in the 20 years that I've known her. So very grateful. I don't really have a favorite age! They have all been my favorite. :)

Kristy writes...

My favorite age was 3-4; they could walk, they could talk but didn't talk back, still took naps and often had creative speech (glassable = breakable). Mine is now 20 years old and just gave me a lovely book for my birthday "Why daughters need mothers" in which she wrote a personal sentiment on each page either thanking me for some little treasure (a real princess crown) or the knowledge that it is OK to have breakfast for dinner every now and again.

Jene writes...

That is so lovely! It really gives me something to look forward to with my not-quite-three=year-old who's having an extended tempermental moment right now. By the way, I think the flowers are peonies.

Vicky writes...

I think those are peonies!

Cindy writes...

What a beautiful post, Patience!
My daughter is in the "thick of three," which can be very challenging at times. She does, however, possess an amazing imagination and often makes us laugh in astonishment. I often wonder what she'll be like a year from now when she settles further into who she is and her place in the world.

Kristina writes...

A beautiful snapshot of what being four is all about. I cherish my 3 & 4 year olds. Thank you.

Venia writes...

What a beautiful essay! I have a 4yo daughter, too...and, she, too, is an absolute joy. And, I used to play with those flowers when I was a little girl...they're camellias. They make great floating flowers, when the heads pop off. ; )

Natalie writes...

Those flowers look like they are Camelias.

Thank you for that glimpse of joy. My daughter will be 2 this summer. She grows more perfect everyday. :)

Cinde writes...

What an absolute joy to read of your current 4 year old observations and allow me to reflect upon my own 17 year old's magical 4th year! And with her at 17, boy, did I need to reflect on the good times!! My daughter was very much like yours at that age. One day, as we were putting coats on to go somewhere, she said out of the blue, "Mom, who made me?" Trying not to show my anxiety at answering this profound question, yet thankful the issue had come up naturally, I said something like: "Mommy and Daddy did. We loved each other very much and wanted a little girl just like you, and we made you.". A look of distinct puzzlement crossed her face, and I repeated part of my answer. She thought about this for a half a minute, then said, with the utmost confidence, "I think God made me!" Sweetest moment.

Carly writes...

You know I see so much of this sensitivity and sweetness in my own fiery 3.5 year old daughter. I have to say that it is SO nice to be reminded of that bright light during a very difficult stage of obstinence and attitude. Thanks for the reminder Patience and I hope your neighbours appreciate the 'candy lion' gifts.

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