Happy Birthday! Today you are 4.

Can you believe it?

Just a year ago, you were awake for the first time to all the consciousness and aliveness of the world around you; you’re just starting to have memories; you’re just beginning to feel things. The dark, scary, dependant uncertain world around you is becoming one that is your own and you are walking in it by yourself – running even, and excitedly too; you are overturning every rock and dipping your feet in unfamiliar water and you’re liking it too; you’re even liking the unpleasant shock of cold, that stinging of the sun in your eyes that makes you sneeze, though you’re unsure why. You jump out of bed in the mornings gleefully and fling open the curtains to see what the day is like. You drink fresh orange juice and eat your cereal. You are like any other four-year old; you are free and curious and easily amused.

Life is wonderful. You’re chasing birds in the field, you’re pulling the cat’s tail, you’re licking icing off a slice of birthday cake, you’re wowed by objects, specifically letters and characters magically appearing on the screen as if conjured from your fingers like magic. You remember the first time you went to the dentist and he pushed your button nose to make the chair recline; this just like that. A little sprinkling of magic. Where did this magic come from when you were so impatient to see it when you were one, two years old? When you were newly born? It doesn’t matter, now, you think; it’s all in the past, that dark impatience, that wondering and feeling small and having adults disregard everything you said as just little meek noises and nonsensical gurgling.

When everyone asks you how old you are, you say “I’m FOUR!” proudly and loudly and adamantly. They ask your name and you tell them in that same abrasive, loud certain way. Because you know it. You know your name. You can even write it down on paper, with thick black marker so everyone can see it and know that it is yours. As you get older, and as you keep advancing in your life your name becomes a calling card; a trademark; a sign of your identity and a sign that you know who you are; you’ve developed self-awareness. You can pinpoint yourself in old photographs and yet still, this concept is a little strange; That’s me? You wonder, looking at the tiny little girl, the baby, you see in your hand. And you wonder how you became four at all.

But you have; you’re four and you’ll blow out all the candles and make a wish and you know in your little beating heart, that wish will come true.

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