Last night, as I was tucking LP into bed and giving him his last snuggles as a three year old I said to him, "I'll make you deal. Stay three forever and you can always be my little boy." LP looked at me and said, "Mom. I'll make YOU a deal. I'll turn four. And you can have one of the toys I don't play with anymore to make you feel better."
Oh, if only it were that simple.
I know that last year when Paul turned three I felt similarly- that year my toddler was becoming a little boy. But four just seems so much older than three. Four is that much closer to kindergarten and riding the school bus and little league and not wanting to hold my hand in public anymore. It's closer to tying his own shoes and picking out his own clothes and making his own peanut butter sandwiches. It's another step away from stuffed animals and play kitchens and towards action figures and superheros.
Words fail me, this year. I can't even begin to describe how lucky I feel to be Paul's mother. The amount of joy and love and life he brings to us is completely indescribable.
He was, is, and will always be my baby.
Even if he insists on turning four.