The Lesson in a First Whistle

The Lesson in a First Whistle

And it’s not just because I don’t like the wrinkles that come with aging, or the new aches, or the awareness that gravity… is not a friend.

I want to be four again because I long for the heart.


I want to wear crumbs on my face and not care.

Not because I am lazy. And not because I think a crumby face is a good look.

But because how silly is it to worry about whether one’s face is a little crumby?

When one is four… no one cares about crumbs.

Or bare feet.

Or lipstick that went a bit over the edge:

Need a mirror?

Ya know?

Last week, Lucy… my 4 year old whistled for the first time.

The first time. This little person got to experience a whistle coming from her wee little frame FORTHEFIRSTTIME.

She said, “Mama! Mama! Mama! Mama! I whistled!!!”

I was all, “Yeah, yeah… whistle schmistle.”

I may have played up my excitement for her a little more than that, but my heart held just about that much excitement. She’s kid #3… we’ve had a couple other first whistles… plus I’m 37 people. Whistlin’ is no big, ya know?

The great majority of us have arms, legs, belly buttons and can whistle. See? Big whoop.

*wet blanket*

A short time later I heard Lucy giggling so sweetly in her booster seat. It was a certain content little giggle. A giggle that perhaps could even turn Darth Vader away from the Dark Side. Oh, that little girl giggle…

I HAD to ask, “Lucy. Honey. What on earth are you gigglin’ about?”

With her mouth in as full a smile as it could stretch she squeaked out, “MAAAAAMAAAAAA! I whistled for the FIRST!!! TIME!!!”

Oh my girl. MY girl. My little girl…

Do you ever wish you could feel the joy of whistling for the first time? Do you ever just think about how much it sucks that our first whistle has been spent?

I long for the innocence.

I long for the untainted joy. I long for a time when whistling was a big deal.

I don’t want to suppress the innate urge to squeal with delight over a “boooifull” butterfly…

I want *that* back.


But not to live how I want. Not to do what I got to do for me. No.

I’m talking about freedom in experiencing joy…

Expressing joy. Sharing joy. Joy.

I also want somebody to do my shopping, cooking and laundry. Maybe that’s what this is actually all about.



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10 Responses to “The Lesson in a First Whistle”

  1. This made me tear up! Four year olds, seriously, are pure bliss. Everything is amazing to them.

    A couple weeks ago, my kids went to an amusement park and my 12 year old was thrilled about riding roller coasters, which, hi, no thank you. So here’s what I miss – the ability to be absolutely fearless. Now I have to try really hard not to push my paranoia onto my kids. You want to dive off that diving board? Sure! Scream down a roller coaster? Thumbs up!

    Oh, but Mommy is going to be watching, mmkay?

  2. Jane says:

    I do wish for that often. Even my teenage daughter will often sigh and tell me how she wishes she was 9 again like her little brother. I think we have children to reminds us to find the joy in the little things.

  3. PAPA says:

    I love this post, Jenny. And you can be four again. I’m like 3, maybe even 2, and the older I get the more I’m having courage to be kid-like.
    I think that’s the secret to happiness.
    Being kid-like and not caring what people think.
    But I’m a really SMART 3 year old. 😉

  4. Sara Broers says:

    I love this post- It really puts thing in perspective- ahhh….to be four again. The lessons we could take from the life of a four year old! Life literally goes by in the blink of an eye! Time goes by waaaayyyy too fast!

  5. Julie says:

    Ah…what a great post! And I still have to learn how to whistle (wanna give lessons to our family?)…so now I really have somethin’ to look forward to…:-)

  6. I want to pick my feet at the dinner table without a thought about how gross it is.

  7. See, now this is why I keep trying out new crazy things like triathlon…I’m hooked on that first time feeling!

  8. Chris says:

    Me too. Sigh. Me too. Lovely post.

  9. CatLadyLarew says:

    I just got a new job this week… teaching 4 year olds! Yay! I get to witness all sorts of new whistles and crumby faces and stuff! Lucky me!

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