Monday, February 4, 2013

Seeing things new, or how the important things punctuate all the rest


It's Facebook Monday. On the Facebook page this past week, I recorded a quick note before my thoughts about it left my head. Here it is:
Had some late night escapades with the daughter last night, so we all slept in, and when she woke up, she was a little bit sensitive. I asked if she wanted to come cuddle in bed. Usually she'd be like, "No!" and off like a shot, bouncing off the walls. 
But today she quietly said yes, got under the covers, and put her head next to mine on the pillow. We talked about why she woke up so much, about her dreams about mean cows, about how she thought she lost her bunny in the dark but it turned out it was right next to her.

And for a long five or ten seconds, we just lay there without talking, and I watched her. She was probably thinking about Dora or eating cookies or something . . . but the way she was so soberly staring into the distance, I could imagine she was thinking about love, or about what it means to grow older, or about how in a few years we'll be scrambling to get ready for school with no time for a morning cuddle, with no time in the morning to gaze thoughtfully into the distance.

She's got so much energy, she rarely sits in one place long enough for me to really look into her eyes. While she was staring up into space, I watched her. I traced the colorful patterns blooming out from a small black center into her brilliant irises.

It's no new thing to marvel over a loved one's eyes. I've spent plenty of time doing that with my wife (perhaps more in the past than the present . . . note to self: I need to get on that). But there's something about pondering a child's eyes, about imagining what's going through her head, the connections she's just starting to make, the infinite possibilities not yet weighed down by "real life," that's both beautiful and overwhelming.

When I imagine the object of her gaze, it's the entirety of the universe; it's the smallest particle and the largest galaxy. Because she's too young to even know that there are some things we can't comprehend. She matter-of-factly considers it all, each thought bound tentatively, magically together with the last, too new to be hardened into the rigid pathways of adulthood. She's just broken out of the seed, a green sprout testing the air. Everything's still growing inside her, tendrils and shoots reaching wildly, experimentally towards the light.

It's cool to see. That's all.
It actually got more positive feedback than anything else I've posted on Facebook. It appears that the people have voted, and they'd like me to stop having scatological conversations (or arguments) with my daughter, and replace them with more sweet meditative moments. Unfortunately for the people, there are a lot more of the former than the latter around here (Addison is washing off in the tub, again, as we speak). And I'm a fan of truth in advertising.

Still, it IS for those sweet little moments that I'm writing on this blog at all, even if they merely punctuate the greater volume of the gross and mundane. Lindsay said I should make something I can print out to hang over the potty, to provide solace when things get rough:


But as I read that last line, all I can think is that if plants need fertilizer to grow big and strong, my daughter's going to be a giant.

6 comments:

  1. You better be working on a novel, your prose is so well developed. I see so many fancy, well-accepted (read money-making) blogs and the writing is horrid, pedestrian. I so admire and adore good writing, poopy or otherwise.
    Keep up the excellent work.
    Do you do your own editing or does someone look at it for you? I always miss easy to see mistakes when I edit my own stuff, which, as I have no staff, I am forced to do.
    My best to you.

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    1. Neal is lucky to have a wife that also works from home and looks over his shoulder to critique his work. It doesn't always make for marital harmony, but it does create more polished blog posts (if I do say so myself).

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    2. I always appreciate having Lindsay edit my posts. After I've cried for a while in the corner, I pick myself up and make (some of) the changes she suggests.

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  2. I like the picture you chose. That's our girl reaching experimentally toward the light.

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