I’ve been taking photos of “things she gives me” since she could walk. She randomly runs inside the house with flowers, pebbles, jewels and trinkets. Presents for me from her. She found an object so interesting and delightful in her eyes and thought of me. Mostly she brings me a single flower.
And I’m keeping all these photos so that one day I can make her a book of all the things she gave me. All the beautiful that she weaved throughout her life as gifts to me. So often as a parent it’s hard to see the gift in what we’re doing. It’s hard work, you guys. And it gets harder. Shaping the next generation to be humans of character and will, helping them discover decisions and walking along them as they exercise making them. It’s not my desire to make this life an easy one for my kids, but I also don’t strive to make it difficult on purpose.
I want them to be awake to learning, which is not something I can do for them. I want them to be present in their own futures, because paving one out for them is not on my list of things to do. Beyond these hopes; I want them to know without a doubt, that in-spite of what pitfalls will inevitably come their way I am always right here ready to hold a hand. To catch the tears and listen or to show them the beauty of the things they’ve given me.
Jessica is growing up, and we’re more and more aware of that simple fact. Yesterday she was groggy from a nap and awake before her brother, we snuck outside in the sunshine to play on the tire swing and as she’s prancing around and making ripples in the air with her joy … I wrote this for her:
Like darts, her legs cascade beneath
the ruffle of her Summertime dress
Her knees, the beautiful
punctuation on her caramel
colored skin and her bony
shoulder blades hold court just
below her neck.
When did her tiny fingers and toes
become the delicate lace digits
that carry her like glass on the
sidewalk or make music from the
keys of the piano in the dining room?
And when did the baby white hair
turn golden and ringlet? Her teeth
grew in, her torso up, her breast
a blossom and her bottom bubbled.
She’s perfect. Delightful. Beautiful.
Yellow is her color when the sun is
shinning and midnight blue at dusk.
I struggle to say the things I mean out loud, instead a bark or my insecurities demand the conversation. But I’m keeping track of all the things she gives me so one day when she asks me what I remember or how it was I can point to the beauty of her spirit and show her where she came from.