Thursday, September 23, 2010

Press Stop.

She asks me to lift her up so that she can wash her hands in the kitchen sink. Usually I tell her to go to the bathroom sink, giving myself a respite from the kitchen anxieties; a too hot oven, or a stove top flame dangerously close to her big, free, full of combustible hair products hair. This time, however, I remember to sneak another moment. Lifting her up to wash her hands I notice her shoulder blade, a bone that used to announce itself like an exclamation point at the end of the sentence, "I'm hungry!" and now has softened into a comma in the middle of the sentence, "I have had lunch, and later I will have dinner."

I wonder if I will ever tell her the story of how when she first came home I rushed her to the eye doctor. I suspected strabismus, her eye seemed to look at her nose in a suspicious way, but more than that I was worried because her eyes were so sparkly. I was sure she had some sort of eye disease. I had never seen eyes so sparkly. The strabismus turned out to be non-existent and the kind doctor smiled at me and told me yes, my daughter did have really beautiful, sparkly eyes.

As I watch her small hand reach for the soap, the lavender Trader Joe's kind, I think this small hand is already so much bigger. I put her hands in mine and we wash her hands together. I hold her. I pretend it is taking a long time for the stream of water to rinse the soap. I take this time for myself, a small moment just to hold her hands in mine and let the water rush over us.

23 comments:

  1. So beautiful. You've given me an idea, as soon as my kids grow tall enough to no longer need a boost at the sink I'm going to install taller sinks.

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  2. You have written that so beautifully! A treasured moment captured forever in words.

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  3. I, too, am entranced by my child's softening (softened) shoulder blade. And ribs. And every bone that is no longer quite so stark. I'm also having a love affair with a newly meaty thigh. It's been more than two years, and the evidence of his well-fedness will never stop overwhelming me with joy and gratitude. Thanks for writing it so beautifully.

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  4. When I first picked up Samuel at the care center, his forearms were so gaunt, they reminded me of sparrow legs. Then he pudged up, like Buddha, complete with man boobs. Now he has lengthened, and his ribs are showing once again, but now they are joined with muscular arms, and a bit of chunk on his thighs. This past year has been full of transformation, physically, but mostly in the heart.

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  5. I know that shoulder blade. And even after a few short months, it's already so much more comma-like. And the combustible hair product hair! My boys are spraying freaks with that olive oil sheen.

    Thank you for this beautifully touching post. And thanks for the reminder to pick them up instead of using the stool. This time is so fleeting.

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  6. Really, really beautifully written. Thank you for sharing these special moments.

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  7. Heart-stopping, and heart-mending.

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  8. tears....

    YOU are so good at this.

    At blogging.
    At sharing your story.
    At being an amazing, wonderful, inspirational MOM.

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  9. If I hadn't had about 12 ugly cries today I'd be a bit weepy. Beautiful. Thanks for being you.

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  10. your blog is such a beautiful, refreshing place tucked away in the midst of a blog universe of helpful hints and busy lives. i appreciate the way you look at life.

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  11. Very sweet that you sneak in these moments of relishing her without her realizing it. Poignant and lovely.

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  12. This kills me! Why must they grow up so quickly? xo

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  13. gorgeous. a treasure and i'm with jolene...taller sinks a must. xo

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  14. This reminds me to take intense joy in small moments today, mentally pressing stop. Wasn't it Anais Nin that said something like we write to taste the moment again, and here it is on your blog - a banquet of savory emotion, just heart-seizing beauty, thanks again for letting us in.

    Cindy

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  15. A lovely post so filled with love.

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  16. I could almost look into those sparkly eyes and smell the lavender soap. So nicely captured, Julie. And the way the exclamation turns into a comma ... I know about that ... and you describe it perfectly. I know all kids are multi-layered, beautiful beings, but our kids' stories, their past, adds a layer that is beyond my understanding.

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  17. Somehow your blog is the one that most often makes me drop sweet tears. I love imagining that soap (same one I use) all slick on her hands and you relishing the moment. Beautiful post!

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  18. SO beautiful, Julie.

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