The Sweet Spot That Is Age Three

BY HEATHER NEAL

Heather Neal's website is sideofsneakers.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.  

 

This piece was originally published on Babble.com and has been reprinted with permission. 


From the moment my son was born, I was overwhelmed with well-meaning advice and foreshadowing from parents who had been there and done that.

Oh, sure he’s cute now, they said, but just you wait.

Wait until he’s crawling or walking.

Wait until he’s talking back to you.

Wait for those terrible twos and forget the twos — the threes are the worst.

Well here we are, smack dab in the middle of “the worst” and I’m utterly loving it.

To be honest, I thought the infant days were the most difficult, but I didn’t even know it until they were behind us and things were easier. So perhaps it’s just that I’m blinded in the present and can’t see it from the other side. To be honest, I’m perfectly happy living in the moment and not worrying about whether what’s coming is better or worse, easier or harder.

Quite simply, age three isn’t what I expected at all — it’s simply amazing.

Our days are filled with fun and laughter, learning and delight. Everything is a discovery and packed with wonder and amusement.

This tiny, little human being actually has his own bursting personality and an honest-to- goodness sense of humor. He finds the tiniest things delightful and hysterical, and even the the things he finds horrid and terrible are amusing because his reactions are so strong and priceless.

I’m reminded every moment of every day how fleeting, rare, and precious these moments are. Sure, there may be periods of stubbornness or an outburst here and there, but there are no ongoing, long-lasting, serious problems or issues we have to deal with. This little person teaches me each day what amazing potential all people have if they just choose to foster it.

My tiny 3-year-old has taught me to look at things in a whole new way. To find joy in the mundane and pleasure in what could otherwise be boring.

A traffic jam isn’t a delay or waste of time, it’s an opportunity to look at all the cool construction equipment just a little bit longer and a little bit closer.

Chores aren’t just things we have to do to keep life operating smoothly, they’re games and adventures and fun.

I relish the moments where he begs to vacuum or help me sweep or cook, but I’m aware enough to know it won’t last.

To have a child that’s experimenting with independence and not needing me so much, but still wants to come in close for a hug, snuggle, kiss, or a simple handhold is such a sweet spot in life that I’m hanging on to every last bit of as hard as I can.

 

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