|Olivia, Age 3|
Twice this month I have had the pleasure of hanging out with people in their third year of life. First it was the granddaughter of one of a friend (our friendship dates back to the second grade). Then I got to spend a long weekend with my niece and her brothers (ages 5, 9, and 12). I have to say that it is hard to be around a three-year-old and not ache – just a little bit – for all the wonder that is wrapped up in life as it is experienced at that age. It was such a brief moment (like all moments) in the lives of my own children, and as the former mother of three-year-olds (three times!) I remember that it could be as exhausting as it was wonderful. When you are three, every moment is full of potential.
At three, it is so easy to experience joy, frustration, exhilaration, impatience, love, anger, awe, and confusion deeply. It is so easy that one might feel all of these, and more, within a matter of minutes. Without the filter that comes with additional years and experience, three is still able to hug freely and with all its might. Three still has the energy to run every step that others walk, and when three is tired of running, it gets carried or takes a nap. Three can cry and laugh with equal vigor. Three is still delighted by the pictures in a book, yet also beginning to appreciate the story.
I love three. I feel profoundly fortunate to have caught these special moments with these two young ladies who will likely be months or possibly even years older the next time I see them.
If I could save time, I’d keep a spare bottle for every three-year-old I’ve encountered.