What can I say? She's almost too big for words.

This is my beautiful soon-to-be four-year-old. She amazes me.

She's in preschool right now, and living her dream, if you ask her. It's hard to tear her away at the end of the day. Home is the last place she wants to be after an invigorating day at school.

AND. She has friends. I worried for her for awhile. She likes to tattle and to tell people what to do. She calls people "stinky" and "poopy" whenever she can get away with it. She wants things her way, or not at all. She can be incredibly opinionated, with her opinion being the final word on an issue.

Huh. She's a little bit, but just a tad mind you, like me.

Oh boy.

She's adventurous and free-spirited, but a rule-follower. She'll toe the line and then slide right back into place before (she thinks) you've noticed. She wants to obey and be kind.

Today at school, the other moms told me how much their kids like Hazel. It warmed my heart. I laughed and told them my fears: That saying "poop" too many times would drive the other, much more polite kiddos far away; that calling others "dooby dobbie boobie brobby" would make them wonder if she could even speak English; that insisting on having the most toys at all times would burn bridges...

Nope, they still like her! They think she's nice, or so the moms say, even while acknowledging that she says poop constantly. (She's her father's daughter, I tell you.)

She lights up my days, even when it's full of time outs and "If you don't clean up your playroom right this minute I'll take all your toys away!"

Every time I look into her eyes, I see my brand new baby girl with uber chubby cheeks and a smile that could break anyone's heart. She's breaking mine now with how big she's getting. And she insists on growing even more. I don't know why...

I will forever remember the way she runs with her hands flopping out to either side like a bird's wings, and her chubby wrists that still to this day look like they have rubber bands on them, and her rolly-pollie feet that fit in very specific types of shoes, and how proud she is of herself when she gets something just right.

Oh my heart. I love this little girl so much. Hazel Elaine, you are just the best.

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