Friday, March 15, 2013
It's a strange thing to see your children grow. You look at them every single day, but somehow, one day, they seem to have changed overnight without you noticing. And without giving you a warning so you could take one last look at the way they were before they suddenly changed. The baby changed. She was telling me about something in great detail, and in the moment between searching her pocket and turning back to me, it left - her babyhood took up on the breeze and faded away. She is forever my baby, but it is apparent now that I'm the only one who sees her this way anymore. It took me by surprise, her not being a baby any more, as she herself tends to take people by surprise. She has always been petite - not even six pounds when she was born - and her stature often belies both her wit and her volume. My grandmother always comments on "what a loud child she is", and not in a way that would suggest she is obnoxious (which honestly, what toddler isn't obnoxious now and then), but only because her elfish face doesn't lead on to the bellowing voice inside. She is silly, but observant and thoughtful, retelling intricate stories of her sisters' shenanigans, and offering well thought out plans for excursions and activities (her most common opening line is "I have an idea, how 'bout we..."). She likes things that are weird and unusual, and when given opportunities to choose for herself, she rarely chooses what you would have thought she'd like. Her sisters both baby her, which she allows, and now that they see she has value as a contributing playmate and isn't just an elephant in their china shop of imagination, they seek her out to play. The baby is the most neutral of the girls - she'll happily hop from one sister's game to the next, whereas the older two take a bit more mediation to play nicely. She is just so sweet. Or dramatic, but I feel the spells of distress and injustice she plays out now are mostly just to keep pace with the sisters (it's not fair!). I'll admit, I baby her too. But she is the baby! She's too little. Be careful with her. Let me help you. Sigh. Of course, this has only been met with fierce independence on her part, and an occasional reprimand for my husband - "just let her do it". She is very capable, and is a fine example of how little all of those books for first time parents matter in raising a child. By the third child, you find a breast and a bed are all a baby needs to be happy. And she is. My little baby, my tiniest one, my sweet fuzzy peach, my precious child. She is three now, and as exciting as it is to see our family grow and change and put one phase behind us (no diaper bags, yeah!), I'll always be thankful I caught the moment before she checked her pocket.