Jonathan turned four a couple of weeks ago. A few days ago we took his birthday cards off the mantel so he would quit telling everyone it was still his birthday.
James informed Jonathan that on his next birthday, he will be five. Jonathan is TERRIBLY excited to be five because that's how old his big brother has been most of the time Jonathan's been cognisant of age and its significance.
Now that his fourth birthday is all said and done, a thing of the past, a distant memory, Jonathan comes to me every morning with this hopeful and expectant question:
"How old am I NOW?"
Enraptured by his cuteness, I answer gently, "You're still four, my love."
Deflated and confused, his shoulders droop as he exclaims, "STILL?!?"
Never one to be kept down for long, he reinflates his spirits by bunny-hopping around the room yelling, "But soon I will be FIVE!!"
That would be "soon" in terms of how long the Hebrew children awaited their Messiah.
Or "soon" in terms of how long my grandparents were married.
Or "soon" in terms of how many years Jeff and I will enjoy the privilege of having our two darlings under our roof.
But it is NOT soon in terms of weeks. Jonathan has been four for two weeks. He still has 50 weeks to go of being four. That's not soon. But it's pretty soon.
Pretty soon, Jonathan will be five.
Pretty soon, Jonathan will be in elementary school.
Pretty soon, Jonathan will be in high school.
Pretty soon, Jonathan will be married.
So each day of age four we soak up to its fullest.
Well, one of us does, anyway. The other of us will pop his eyes open tomorrow morning and whisper again with tremulous excitement, "How old am I NOW?"