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.