I had a memory last night of the year I was going to turn four. I was tired of being three. At the time, my best friends were a brother and his sisters who lived down the street from me. The brother was already four and his sisters were a couple of years older. I was the baby. I didn't want to be the baby anymore - I wanted to be all grown up! I wanted to be four!
Four meant I was old enough to climb the ladder on the playground slide by myself. And not the baby one with only two small steps, but the "big girl" ladder - the one with five steps and the bigger, swooshy chute. Four meant I could swim with the big kids in the public, chlorinated, man-made pond with a sandy outer rim, the closest thing we had to a beach in that little, land-locked town I grew up in. I would no longer have to stay in the shallow section behind the light pink and blue floating buoys with the other babies.
I was a tall toddler. Way taller than the other kids my age. I once overheard my Brazilian nanny, who held nothing back, telling my parents that people who didn't know me thought I was mentally challenged. Ok, for the sake of 1970's authenticity, you know those weren't her exact words. Well, Judy also had a pretty outrageous Portuguese accent. She said they thought I was "e-retardit" because I was so much bigger than the other kids in the baby section. There must be something wrong with that old thing sulking by herself next to all the drooling little people who can't talk.
I used to try to swim right to the line of buoys, holding on with my hands, letting my toes float infront of me into the big kid section - please, at least let part of me be with the big kids?- hoping the lifeguard wouldn't notice. Then the whistle would blow and I was back with the babies. One of them probably peed in the murky, brown water right next to me just for good measure.
When I was turning four, I had just learned what months are, and that June was MY month!
I have to say, that anticipation for the month of June hasn't gone away. I'm excited for this month! Another big birthday coming up, although now at the age of, um, at my age now, I want to play with the younger kids again. Luckily no one thinks I'm "e-retardit" for doing so. Great things happening. Certain beans were already spilled, but I think there still might be some hiding out to surprise me later.
It's been busy and I've had almost no time for things I even *like* doing. But playtime is (fingers crossed!) coming up soon. Things could still go wrong, as they do, which is why I still had to say "Rabbit! Rabbit!" first thing when I woke up on the first of the month, for good luck.
Besides, I still think rabbits are awfully cute...