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Thursday, July 10, 2008

And suddenly there I am...

My daughter has never looked like me. My boy, he is a little squeaky version of me, with his daddy's and my passionate nature all combined into a pint-sized tornado of a child. Here he is, seemingly all sweet an innocent. My how a photo can lie, no?

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Doesn't he look cute and artsy here? Yeah, that is his 'soldier' hat and in his hand is a little nerf plane launcher that is standing in for his 'gun'. I captured this picture before he rolled off the bench for the seventh time. AND, I took these pictures right after I found out from my step-son, that squirrel-child (the small boy) is ineligible for the military due to his severe peanut allergy. This is no small thing, folks. Because I am one of those people that gets tiny dark thoughts at inappropriate times. Like when I heard I was pregnant for a boy, and the first thing I thought of was how he'll have to sign up for the draft at 18, and how soon would we need to move to Canada. I know, I know... so many things to cringe at with that admission.

But anyway, this post wasn't intended to highlight my sick mind but to talk about the power of small things really. Like I mentioned before, my daughter has never looked like me, except in nature possibly, like her quiet intensity, her strength when sick or injured, her intolerant perfectionism. Well, I guess I am responsible for the last one. We actually don't know where the other two come from either. She's sort of a mystery. But here she is in a perfect mommy mimic moment.

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Notice the unblinking focus at the screen, the downward set of her mouth, the dark circles. Yep, that is exactly how I look when Photoshop is making me SO. MAD. This picture was taken right before my typically stoic daughter had a tantrum mommy-style over trying to 'erase' instead of 'undo'. It was quickly resolved with a reminder of the history menu and an embarrassing discussion over how mommy needs to learn a new way to manage her stress on the computer. Ah, if only life had a history menu.

You know how as you grow up sometimes you get pictures of how you think your future will look. I was a pretty 'in the now' person growing up, but I did get glimpses of a daughter now and again. She was always dark like me though. I've always had dark brown eyes, hair, a weird yellowish skin that doesn't tan or burn overly much and makes it so I CANNOT wear yellow without questioning the integrity of my liver. Liver is fine, I am just a sort of yellow person, (and so is my boy, that lucky little dude). Well, as my daughter grew she kept on being blonde and green eyed, with the palest porcelain skin (that doesn't tan or burn easily however). And while she is everything I hoped her to be and more, it feels like a shock sometimes to see this kid I made walking around so different from me.

Until... This.
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I know, I can't see it in this picture either. It seems to be too small to photograph so far. It is a teeny, tiny little mole that appeared one day. Just a baby beauty mark. (We are moley, yellow people here folks, you've been warned.) The odd thing is the presence of this little tiny spot does something to her face. It is like suddenly I am there. I have a small 'beauty mark' in a similar location, but it isn't just the spot itself. It is the 'negative space' around it. Suddenly the shapes of her face are familiar to me and I can see the similarities that were there before, but not easy to see.

This doesn't change how I feel about this amazing child at all, please don't think that I need her to look like me for my affection. It was just something that was quirky, and stood out against the predictable-ness in life, so I took note. Then to have such a seemingly insignificant alteration cause such a major shift in perception - just a thrilling reminder of how something doesn't have to be huge to cause a big change. Sometimes the little things really make a difference.

Oh, and him?
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Sometimes I seem hard on him, eh? If you could hear my voice you could tell I am fond of his scampishness. His energy, incessant chatter, passion and streak of naughty - top my charts as some of my favorite things. You know the Olivia books? How one ends with the mom saying, "You know, sometimes you wear me out, but I love you anyway."? Well, I love him because he wears me out. He's fun and silly. He keeps me young and makes me old. So please don't take my language surrounding him as negative, he is my crazed prince. Look at him in this picture with his 'special box'. I bought him this box and he automatically started keeping his treasure inside. His silly putty, scissors (because he loves to snip the silly putty with them), the magic wands he painted, some little plastic monsters, all in a gorgeous magical box that the kid carries around with reverence. How can you not love a kid like that? Also of note: right after I took this picture he succeeded in smashing the silly putty into the cushion, apologizing with a trembly voice and a big smile. A perfect example of how some things don't change. Sigh... love him, love him, love him. :)

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