Looking and seeing

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Every day, I look at my babies with the same eyes.

walking over the bridge

Tired eyes. Red and dry from the exposure to the elements. Every day. I look at them every blessed day and I study them in detail. This bump here. That bruise over there. Hair that needs to be washed, fingernails that need a trim. Every day I look closely and study and my tired eyes wash over them, translating to my brain the list of things to attend to. To fix. I see cuts and scrapes and dirt beneath fingernails and remnants of breakfast in the corners of mouths.

Every day I scan, looking for the little.

Missing the big.

In my constant scan over them I miss the minutiae of their growth. I miss that her face has continued to mature. There’s that photo of her. I took it just last month. And there she is, my baby. The chubby cheeks that push up into big brown eyes when she smiles. There they are. I had thought that all of the baby had all but melted away months ago. But the melting happens every day. Every day drops of chubby cheeks and tiny pudgy hands melt away, into smooth lines and fine features. Giving way to the woman she is becoming. Every day I pour over those features and yet, I miss the melting. I always miss the melting.

I miss that his hair has continued to grow. A mess of curls now sprawls atop his head and a new one forms every single day. I always feel that his hair is so long and it’s been so long forever. Until I look back and realize it wasn’t there before. It’s been growing all along. Lengthening and curling and waving around his face. Every day I comb that hair and try to tame it’s wild ways and smile appreciatively when someone notices his gorgeous curls. But I miss the growing. I always miss the growing.

I look at them every day. I scan their bodies for health and cleanliness.

I see the little specs of blueberry and eggs.

And I miss the rest.

feet and flip flops

Family comes into town and there are hugs and squeezes and through the eyes of an aunt and an uncle, so much has changed. She is so much taller and bigger. His curls, just look at them! He’s got new tricks, she has new words, and it’s a marvel a minute the entire weekend through. With their eyes, their fresh eyes, dry only for want of seeing them more and soaking in every waking moment, they study them in detail. Look at that face he makes! See how luxurious her eyelashes are! You can just see how much they love each other.

The delights that meet their eyes awaken all senses and for two days straight, aunt and uncle feast on a sea of giggles and cries and hugs and kisses. Every movement like a little celebration.

As it should be, of course. Because every movement is. A celebration of the growth and the growing, the reaching and the grasping. We really do live in a time of a marvel a minute. That the bumps and missteps and bruises in between overshadow those marvels is my fault. It’s the fault in my eyes.

Family leaves and they take their eyes with them. And I am left feeling blind. Wondering how do I keep seeing my children while looking at them? It’s trickier than it should be, this seeing while looking. When we look, we miss so much.

But when we see, we capture it all.

7 Comments

  1. Beautiful words all of which I can relate to so much. There are days I ache from realizing how much I’ve missed by just looking instead of seeing. I want to see it all, to capture every moment and growth in my heart. But then the rushing around begins, and my eyes get lost in the shuffle. Thank you for this reminder to open them—TRULY open them—again.
    Katie @ Pick Any Two recently posted..Eat Like Google: 3 Healthy Eating Tips from Google HeadquartersMy Profile

  2. Yes! Just recently, I was looking at baby pictures of my girls and thinking, “I forgot she had that smile” and a million other similar things. Time goes so fast and we all get so caught up in the little things that we miss the big picture sometimes. Thanks for the reminder!
    Lisa @ The Golden Spoons recently posted..Today . . .I DecideMy Profile

  3. I feel so similarly sometimes.
    All I see is too-long hair, smudges on faces, tangles, mismatched socks, etc. Des probably hates to see me coming because I inevitably push his bangs aside, or go and cut new ones!
    I miss so much. The growth, though. The long hair means the growth. Sometimes it prevents me from seeing what it really means because it’s hard for me.
    And beautiful too.
    Tamara recently posted..It’s My SITS Day, Part 2!My Profile

  4. I couldn’t believe it the other day when my eldest – son – came to stand beside me and I realized he was too tall for me to rest my arm on the top of his head now. WHAT?!! Will he be 6 feet at age 13 for goodness sakes? And how will I ever discipline him if I have to LOOK up at him? Ha
    I’ve noticed the red tone has left middle girl’s hair and now she’s just blonde. And that the littlest blonde head is full of curls that will never be touched by a brush if she has any breathe in her little body — and yet it’s still seems to just fall in golden loveliness about her face. Women ask me for a lock of her hair to take the colour to their stylist. (yes really)
    It is true that we have to see with better eyes some times.
    Rorybore recently posted..WW: How to Colour Your GardenMy Profile

  5. 1. The big gets even bigger. You’ll see. Just wait until you’re buying twice as many razors so she can shave her legs, too. And him, his face.

    2. The little, there’s a lot in that too. It’s the good stuff we get to see when we have them every day in our lives. The grandparents leave and lament missing all the little in between the big they see.

    3. So, you’re not really blind. You see most, if not all. You see all the little. And when someone comes along and brings up the big, well, you can recognize it then, too.
    Eli@coachdaddy recently posted..Guest Post: Teri of Snarkfest on Stupid Silent SaturdayMy Profile

  6. This is just beautiful!! And so very true! In the dailyness of life, we can miss so much. May we have eyes that truly SEE! I am so glad I stopped here from the SITS!
    Joanne Viola recently posted..Lessons From FamilyMy Profile

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