Sometimes, like now, I look at the tiny little girl sleeping in my lap. Oh, she's getting big, growing strong. 17 pounds, five months, sitting up, babbling. But she is, in reality, so very very small.
I hold her little hand, small, soft, warm, pudgy. I hold it and I fiddle with her fingers. When she's awake she'll grip me, grab toys, reach, play. But asleep she is a little warm lump. Her hand is limp and maleable and I play with those fingers.
And I wonder.
What will these hands hold?
In the immediate future I see toys, books, sand, sticks, and very soon small bits of food.
But what else? Crayons, pencils, markers. Books, phones, computers. Tools, instruments, flowers, and the branches of a tree worth climbing. And other hands, lots of other hands. Her parents, her siblings, her extended family, her friends, and one day her loves, her spouse, her own child.
I hold my daughter's precious tiny hand and realize that it will grow, slowly but surely. It will grow and lengthen and harden, and one day it will be as my own hand.
Her eyes, still blue despite my expectations, are so bright, so happy, and as many point out so beautiful.
What will they see? Toys, books, brothers, places, food, animals. They are small now and their scope is small now, but one day they will be the eyes of a young woman and they will see the world.
Her feet are tiny and rounded, not yet walked upon, but one day all too soon they'll be running, strutting, walking, dancing.
The boys are no different, just a bit further along their path. They are getting bigger, their experiences more varied, their world more interesting. One is discovering social interactions that I cannot be there to aid with, learning not only how to spell complex words and subtract two digit numbers, but also how to interact with the wider world around him. Another is coming into his own childhood, learning his letters, learning to sit, learning to listen, exiting that first infantile phase of life to begin breaking off into the next level of growth.
It's sad and exciting and wonderful and worrying.
And it is going so, so fast.
One day they will be adults. I am sure they will retain a bit, or a lot, of their current personalities.
My first child, the perfectionist, the boy who needs to know everything about everything, the child with great loyalty.
My second child, the one who wants to make people laugh, the one who makes friends easily, the one who cuts loose and runs free and jumps and dances and screams, the one deeply concerned with people around him.
My third child, so sunny and happy and calm, interested in this great wide world, happy just to sit and watch, and full of laughter and light.
They will be so different when they grow up, but as their mother I'm sure I'll always see the similarities to their childhood selves. So many places they'll go. So many things they'll touch. So much they'll see, do, hear, play. So much promise, so many journeys ahead.
But for now they are my sleeping children, safe in our home, resting under their parents' watch on a quiet and calm Sunday.
Lily in a loafing barn
4 weeks ago