If you read Sam’s birthday memory, you’ll know that when Quinny was small, he couldn’t make the “th” sound. So, “three” always sounded like “free.”
We never mentioned it to him. In fact, until I was following him up a jungle path one spring afternoon, I had no idea that he knew anything was amiss.
But as we trekked up from Secret Beach, I overheard him quietly repeating to himself the single phrase. “I’m three.”
Only he said it like this: “I’m threee. I’m THHreee. I’m THHHHREEE!!!”
He was, in fact, four.
But he had just then figured out, with pride and joy, how to say “three”.
There is something almost unbearably sweet about this memory for me. Something about that little four-year-old, all by himself, recognizing and working a problem. And something about me getting so lucky that I got to be there, listening in, when he solved it.
Happy Birthday, Quinny. You’re my pride and joy.