A Poem for my Daughters on their Fourth Birthday

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poem for my daughters


Four is Big Kids

We don’t know much, yet, about four.

We know one.
One filled a bowl with sunshine and with rain, and then spilled some out, a few drops of each, every day.
One was heavy in my arms, but light – a spray of stars – in my heart.
When I held you, I held everything.

Two was everywhere, and loud.
Two was eyes, wide and round, that looked, always, for the new.
Two was mouths – hungry – and bodies – growing – that laughed, shouted, ate, and danced.
Two pulled you farther from me, as you pushed your way into you.

Then came three, louder, even, than two.
Three was fast, and full of feeling.  Long legs and short tempers.   A taste of freedom all stirred up with fears.
Three was a web of words.  Words that followed us up stairs, chased us down slides, and whispered to us under our blankets at night.
Three was bright balloons, flying, bouncing, bursting.

And now, here is four, running at us, still a stranger.
Four looks strong, and stubborn, and tall.
Four wears big shoes and a proud face, but I suspect that four carries sweetness in its pocket, to be brought out and shared, quietly, and often.
Four begins to remember.
Four is charging forward, arms open, into childhood, into life.

And so, my girls, go for it.  Charge.  Reach.  Run.  Remember.
We may not know much, yet, about four, but we do know this, because you said it yourselves: four is big kids.
And four looks like fun.


–Kate Parlin

March 2015