Eden — Four Years

I am astounded that Eden is four. Though I have been relishing the moments…studying my girl…glorying in her construction of mind and spirit…I am amazed that she is FOUR. Sitting across from her at the breakfast table, I wonder at it all. How did she get so big? How? When? And for forty-eight months, I have been documenting my discoveries. It was not the plan. There was no plan. I simply wanted to capture her first year of development…but I could not stop at twelve months…because she is a bottomless well of mystery and delight.

Eden is a bundle of life. She reminds me so much of my mother…zest for life…zest for people…insatiable and loyal. Our girl is a beautiful life force…and we thank God for her daily.

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At four years, Eden:

  • is learning how to breathe through her emotions. The girl is often high-jacked by the intensity of her feelings! Phil has helped Eden with her breathing before, but Aunt Nicole gave us a sweet and memorable technique: smell the flowers and blow out the candle. Voila.
  • knows her right from her left…like REALLY. I think I’ve mentioned this before…cause I still struggle with this concept. Anyhoo, the other day Eden was directing Phil with a simple, “Daddy, look to your right.” Bam!
  • left another party…nude-ish due to puking. Poor girl. She is a stress puker. Yea! She got hurt…and upset…and puked…all over her daddy as well as herself. (This is the second year in a row that we had to leave her buddy’s birthday party (Landon) due to puke. We’ll try again next year!)
  • has hit a modesty benchmark…and it broke my heart a little. (I recently learned at a MOPS meeting that children will let you know when they are feeling a need for boundary changes. They will say things like…”close the door please,” or “Mom, you really need to wear pants…” or whatever. Anyhoo, at Landon’s party (the one we left due to puking), I was stripping Eden down in the backyard and she said, “Don’t let them see me in my panties.” It was precious and sweet and…here we go! I left her in puke until we could find some privacy. Sweetie girl.
  • is picking up some of my…um…isms. The other day she was frustrated with Denver. She said, “Okay, I’m done with you, sister,” and walked away. Hmph.
  • loved the “chicken” at Thanksgiving…which is good because I made exactly three dishes: turkey, dressing, cranberry salad. Eden ate three helpings of “chicken.”
  • has started playing dress up in my clothes. Dreamy, dreamy sigh. I heard her tell Phil, “I put on Mama’s shirt. I just want to be like her.” I could die.
  • is much, much, much more abstract that I ever dreamed of being. She gets this from her daddy. She had done some finger/hand painting in the bathtub. I saw…purple blobs on the wall. Eden found a panda in the patterns adorning our tub. Well done, missy.
  • has been asking about truth. Oi. “What is truth?” meaning what does the word mean. Oi, oi, oi. Phil gave it a whack…”If something is the truth, it matches with what is real.” We think she has “real” down…so, it’s a start. Anyhoo, we had the opportunity to try it out. Eden and Denver were fighting in the car. Denver was holding Eden’s stuffed animal and declaring, “Cat is mine! Cat is mine!” to which Eden screamed, “No! Mom! Denver is saying the cat is hers.” Oi. I quietly said, “Eden, we know that is not true. The cat is yours. She can say it is hers, but that does not make it hers. At the end of the day, the cat belongs to you.” Whew.
  • likes to make sure Denver follows the rules AND likes to alert me and Phil of any violations of…anything that may potentially be…out of order. My dear friend, Ginger Nelson, warned me of this little number…common in the eldest child. (I’m a middle kid…this whole first-born thing is unchartered territory.) She told me, concerning her experience as a first-born, “We like to follow the rules…and make sure everyone else does too.” Yep, I am finding that to be true.
  • wants to hold my hand as she falls asleep at night. Yes, yes I LOVE this. She told me why the other night…”I don’t want you to leave. If I hold your hand, you will stay.” Yep, that might work if she didn’t fall asleep one minute after her head hit the pillow. Anyhoo, I’ll take it for what it’s worth. I love holding that girl’s hand.
  • loves non-fiction. She is like a sponge…she can tell me absolutely every sea creature encountered in Octonauts. I’m all into the characters and adventures…not our girl…she’s all into the facts.
  • enjoys a steady stroll. Tag is great…but running is over-rated. We both love a good, quick game of tag, followed by a lounge in the grass (while Denver runs laps around us). Ahhh.
  • had her first big-girl birthday party. It was a HUGE success. (We’re pretty low-key about parties…so this was new…buying a cake, having several friends over, opening gifts.) She wanted an Octonaut party…at Yanaguana Garden. Almost all of her best buddies were able to make it. The kids played, we ate cake, and opened gifts. No meltdowns. No tears. Oh, and Eden let her friends help her blow out the candles. Toooo sweet!
  • is a gift. A delightful, willful, engaging, uninhibited gift from God.
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