Lucy’s fourth birthday (want, need, wear, read)

My Lucy turned four years old over the weekend.  Four! An age that seems to be so big and yet still so very little at the same time (which is probably one of those statements that only a parent or a grandparent can understand).

I did it again.  I blinked.

I blinked and this teeny, tiny, little pink bundle …

… turned into this singing, dancing, laughing girl of four.

This girl of mine, who loves hats, dress up clothes, purple, and baby dolls and, most importantly, horses. The girl who is going to be a cowgirl when she grows up. The girl who picked the Kentucky Derby winner by the color of the jockey’s clothing.

The girl who recently told me she was having a hard time deciding whether she should grow up and have a horse or grow up and be a horse.

The girl who, from the age of two to about three and a half never, ever, ever sat still (unless she was sleeping) who has lately turned into my quiet, soft-spoken, often shy  sidekick.  A daydreamer who, more often than not, can be found looking out the window watching the world going by or laying on her back on the swing in the backyard watching the clouds.

Unless, of course, she is pretending to ride a horse.  Or pretending she is a horse, and then off she gallops, wind in her hair, wild and free!

Both little sister and big sister, and always my baby.

What I don’t talk about too often, outside of family and a few close friends, is that Lucy has had a hard year.  Three isn’t always an easy age, by well-earned reputation, but it is even more bumpy and emotional when you don’t feel well and spend much of the year sick.  (She’s going to be okay, just some minor health concerns which seem to be behind her now).

And, it isn’t easy when a new baby comes to live at your house and you lose your place as the baby of the family.  Sometimes age three needs extra reassurance and patience.

We’ve done a lot of rocking and cuddling and comforting this past year, Lucy and I. We’ve both done a lot of growing, too.  I feel like this birthday is not just her milestone, but my own as well. 

We celebrated simply, with brother and sisters and grandparents.  It was a lovely weekend and I’m so thankful I got to share it with my favorite four year old in all the world.

Simple birthday gifts: want, need, wear, read

Something she WANTS … she asked for a real horse, which we aren’t quite in the position to do right now, so we gave her a hobby horse instead. I am happy to report the hobby horse was instantly loved and will definitely do “until I save my monies for a real horse.”

Something she NEEDS … a set of grown-up dishes, like the rest of the family, in her favorite color.  When she opened them her big sister Jillian told her, “and now you get to wash your own dishes, too.”

Something to WEAR … a purple tee shirt from Happy Family with one of her mama’s favorite quotes on it.

Something to READthis sweet book whose illustrations I could not resist because they so remind me of my little girl.

Another favorite birthday present?  A small collection of ponies and horses that Grandma Kathy gave to her, which had belonged to her once upon a time when she was a little girl who loved horses.  Pretty wonderful!

Happy Birthday, my sweet Lucy girl!

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at

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  1. Happy Birthday to Lucy! That shirt is really wonderful… :)
    Amy@Let’s Explore´s latest post: Some Quiet and Some Inspiration

  2. Happy birthday, Lucy! Love these thoughtful and simple gifts, too, Kara.
    Simple Homeschool – Jamie´s latest post: Simple doesn’t always mean easy.

  3. I love the gift idea! My Emma turned 4 over the weekend as well, it was an amazing day, and I can’t believe she is already 4. Happy birthday to Lucy!
    Heather´s latest post: family cloth

  4. The gift of dishes intrigues me… do each of your children choose their own color/pattern? How does it look on the table?

    • It started with my fiesta ware sets (I’ve collected since I was in college) and the pink place setting that my oldest adopted as hers. Later, when Max wanted his own in his favorite color of orange it became a family tradition that on their fourth birthday each kiddo gets their own place setting of fiestaware in their favorite color :-)

      Right now I have a set in lime green, Christopher’s is red, Jillian’s is pink, Max’s is orange, and Lucy’s is purple as our every day dishes. All are fiesta ware. I think it looks fine with all the colors like that, but then again I’m sort of drawn to things that are on the eclectic, funky side :-)
      Kara´s latest post: Lucy’s fourth birthday (want, need, wear, read)

  5. What a sweet post! Made all the more poignant as we celebrated my girls 4th this Spring… I’m off to journal for her; thanks for the encouragement!

  6. Happy birthing day! I love your want, need, wear, read tradition. And I super-love the knitted dress she is wearing! It reminded me to check out your Ravelry projects; I am amazed and impressed at how many knitting projects you complete with four children at home!

    • Thanks, Sandy :-)

      You might notice, if you do check my Ravely, that it takes me months to finish projects. I tend to not be very monogamous in my knitting and have several things on the needles at once. That can make it seem like I finish a lot because usually there are at least one or two projects at any given time that are pretty close to finishing. Really, though, it takes me months to finish things.

      And, it must be said, most of the things I knit are super easy simple stockinette projects (usually in the round) that don’t require a lot of my brain power :-)
      Kara´s latest post: Lucy’s fourth birthday (want, need, wear, read)

  7. I love the want, need, wear, read idea. I’d heard it a while back and I think it’s brilliant. Happy Birthday to your little, big girl.
    Steph´s latest post: Just Go Mommy

  8. Aw, happy 4th birthday to Lucy! I love her spirit, and that she wants to *be* a horse. Brilliant!
    Sleeping Should Be Easy´s latest post: Weekend links and 3 essential lessons I learned from my mom

  9. Love this, Kara! And happy birthday to your sweet Lucy! Four is my favorite age… they’re hilarious.
    Tsh @ Simple Mom´s latest post: My weekend in the middle of nowhere

  10. Melissa says:

    I love the gift idea, and the dishes–awesome! Intriguing and totally reasonable. (I love Simple Kids.)

    The reason I’m here commenting, though, is because *I had that book when I was young and LOVED it.* To see it again here was delightful!

    Thank you!

  11. Happy Birthday, Lucy! They really do grow up so fast! As we ready for this new little one I look around at my brood and wonder when they all got so big!
    Amanda Morgan´s latest post: Tents, Forts, and Hideouts: Special Spaces for Kids

  12. My son was two this week. On one hand he feels really little still, on the other, it has been a journey and a sometimes long, hard and sleepless one. Wouldn’t have missed it for the world though.
    Mamacook´s latest post: Mini Quiches for babies and toddlers

  13. Happy Birthday to Lucy (a bit late)!

    I LOVE the dishes in her favorite color. What a great idea!


  1. […] specific purpose. That is Want, Need, Wear, & Read. I know I most recently read about it at Simple Kids earlier last week. We had already purchased Lorelei’s gifts by then, but it is a concept that […]

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