Today they are three, two, and twelve weeks old. They are little. But changing by the minute. And I’m just trying to notice today. How they are. How they look and how they feel in my arms. How they see the world. Today. I want to remember. To see them. Just notice.
I see Raines. Three years old, almost four. With her long wavy strawberry blonde hair bouncing as she runs and skips across the sand. Her almost too small shoes that she can buckle by herself. A handful of freckles peppering her porcelain skin for the first time. I notice how heavy she feels in my arms. I carry her to bed when she falls asleep in the car. I use both arms. I notice her. I notice how she hugs me tight when my tone gets a little sharp. Resetting me. Telling me everything is really ok. How she shares her snack with Mae when Mae decides she’d rather have what Raines picked. I see the excitement in her eyes when she picks her first real bike. I also see the flash of uncertainty when she climbs on it for the first time. She’s my big girl. But she really is still little. I can see how she imitates me. For better and for worse. I want to be better. But mostly I just want to notice. To imprint her. Now, as she is. On my heart. At three, almost four.
And Mae. Just barely two. Tiny. I want to notice her today. I see how long her legs are getting. Feel them brush against my legs when I carry her. And right now, while I write? I rock her. And I hear her deep rhythmic breaths. Even. Clear. I see how she’s curled to make herself fit in my lap. And I feel the weight of her head on my arm, numbing it as we rock. I am in heaven. This morning I try to braid her hair for the first time. It’s long enough now. But she’s still too wiggly. I see her eyes on me. And Raines. Constantly. Those big deep brown eyes taking us in. Learning how to see the world by noticing how we see the world. I hear her ask Raines to read her a book. They disappear into their room and snuggle up to read. When I check on them I see all the bleary eyed days and nights of reading to them combining into this beautiful picture of curious, creative, content children. I am so proud. Today I see my tiny Mae. Moving out of babyhood. But still rocking to sleep. How can it be? Today she’s just barely two. I want to notice.
And baby Bonnie. Today she is 12 week old. I feel like she was placed in my arms yesterday. But really? She’s long passed the newborn days. She has rolls on her thighs. She smiles and coos and rolls over. She’s a full fledged baby. I can’t believe it. A year ago we had no idea she was our future. No plans for a third baby. But Bonnie? She’s the piece of my heart that was missing. So today I want to notice her. The way her little hand grabs hold of my hair. The sweet soft sound of her newly found voice. How she furrows her brow when she talks. As if she’s really telling me something very important. I notice the swirl of strawberry hair on the back of her head. And how it curls into perfect ringlets after her bath. I watch her clear blue eyes soak me in. Looking for security. Love. Today she is 12 weeks old. And I want to notice.
It just goes in a flash. They grow and change. And they notice me. Everything. My tone of voice. How I treat people. They notice what I wear and eat and watch. They notice my phone in my hand. They notice it all. And mostly? They notice if I am noticing them. Me noticing? Paying attention? It says they have a voice worth hearing. Skills worth celebrating. Beauty worth seeing. A spirit worth treasuring. A body worth protecting. I tell them all that. Just by noticing. So today. And everyday. I just want want to notice. Everything.