On a spring evening in May the lawn tractor’s rumble disturbs the placid village scene. It’s Daddy-O on his vintage Bolens, with Arden along for the ride.
Arden, about to be three tomorrow. Have you reached this eve already?
I step out onto the back porch and it’s all slanting golden light and fresh cut grass, and the two of you are in your own little world. You are in your pink spring coat and your “jelly bean” rubber boots, and you are singing a song at the top of your lungs! I can’t hear you over the rumble, and I suppose that’s why it’s so much fun.
Daddy waves, the other arm holding you over the bumps, and you wave too in a careless sort of way, smiling through your boisterous song.
On the eve of three, there is an eager wonder about your days.
On the eve of three, you want to know whether the caterpillar we saw yesterday has made its cocoon and got its big wings yet.
You want to know if it’s windy enough to fly the kite.
You want to know if our neighbour is home from school yet so you can play with her.
You want to know what day it is because you know that Friday is your birthday, and you concentrate on holding up just three fingers to show me how old you will be.
On the eve of three, the whole world is opening up before you.
Apple blossoms and adventures in the woods!
Bicycles! Birthday parties!
Counting chicken eggs and chasing bubbles on the breeze!
Every little thing is a big thing, just like this tractor ride.
Tonight you are queen of the back yard, and with one of Daddy’s arms around you, you are ready for whatever tomorrow brings. And we will welcome Three together with the morning sun, but right now I’m just standing here taking you in, both arms full of the eve of three.