Last weekend, A'Dell and I took our kids to the zoo, and as we were leaving the house, Kyle said with glee, "I AM SO EXCITED TO RIDE A GIRAFFE."
Thankfully he had a great time at the zoo despite giraffe rides being unavailable, but why on earth would he THINK he could ride giraffes at the zoo? WHO IS TELLING HIM THESE THINGS? I blame George. That damn monkey is always doing ridiculous things that no child will ever get to do.
Then this past weekend, we took Kyle to his first Ranger's game. He had a great time, and it was fun to introduce him to baseball. The kid's got soccer and football down, but baseball was new.
We were having a great time, eating nachos and getting a little sun, when Kyle turned to me and said, "When do I get to go on the field and play with those guys?"
Kid, your imagination is impressive! Our job of setting realistic expecations for you is not.
Age four is something else, though. I feel like I've become that mom, that mom who we all roll our eyes at a little bit. That mom who WILL NOT STOP TALKING ABOUT HER CHILD. Usually that kid is a baby and that woman is a new mom, but I dodged (I think?) most of those new mom bullets. I could hold a conversation about other things with my friends when Kyle was wee. I could go out with Mike and talk about many other things (usually taking naps) before coming round to gush about our cool kid, but something has happened since Kyle turned four. I CANNOT STOP TALKING ABOUT HIM.
I called Natalie the other day and basically wanted to talk about nothing except the funny things he's recently said. In the office kitchen the other day, a co-worker who I am friendly with, but who I am certainly not friends with, asked how my weekend was and I used that as an opening to tell her a hilarious story about Kyle. She looked...eager to get back to work.
I don't know, it's just a really fun age. Four year olds! They're awesome.
I taught four year olds when I was in college (FOUR YEAR OLDS WHO ARE NOW THIRTEEN YEAR OLDS OMG). Well, assistant taught, I should clarify. The real teaching was left to the person with an actual college degree at the time, but I was there to assist her from 8am-12pm every single week day. (EXHAUSTING.) I loved it so much. If I could have made an actual living teaching four year olds at that school, I would have. I would come home most days and tell Mike the hilarious things my kids would say to me. Four year olds, I used to say, they are the best. So sweet! So smart! So funny!
It's kind of weird raising a four year old vs teaching one. I am that mom bringing him into his classroom vs the teacher taking his hand to lead him to arts and crafts. I am the stressed, (sometimes) unshowered mom instead of the young teacher who somehow finds the energy to hang out with wild, dirty kids all day.
It's a weird full-circle moment having a four year old. I loved this age as a 22-year-old college student, assistant teacher. I love it just as much now.
I sometimes look at my life and wonder how on earth I got here. I was just 22, teaching kids as a part-time job. I was going to class, I was falling in love, I was broke. I was not an adult, no way, and I could hardly imagine becoming one. But I am now. No doubt. Mortgage, career, debt, husband, kid, and on and on.
Back then, I could only imagine I'd have my own adorable, hilarious four year old one day. I could only hope.