One day last week the ladies and I ventured out to the suburbs for a day with my friend Fran and her charming, just turned three, daughter Meg. Fran works, in an actual office four days a week, has her home on the market and is about to burst with baby number two, due in a matter of weeks. She's tired, and at odds with her three year old who spends her days asserting her new found three year old independence.
When Mary and Kate were deep into three my wise friend Lisa, the mother of two, 6 and 13, held my hand and said "three is hard". The terrible two's? Pish! It's three that wears you out. And from three years past she could easily look back, reminded of the battles, the exhaustion, and the ultimate passage to four. In the foggy middle of three I could only yawn and collapse into my bed each evening, ready for another round the next day.
And so, with the perspective of mid four, I could tell Fran "three is hard". And sharing that little known secret with someone else allowed me to look across the table at four and half and realize, for the first time, that three is a distant memory. With little fanfare we segued quite smoothly into the contented daily life that 52 months of living brings. And while the bell still rings occasionally, signaling the start of a battle, our newfound maturity allows us all to sit back and say, really? Life is too short, and time flies, especially when you are three, going on four.