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Tuesday, January 07, 2014

A Never Ending Awe

Munchkin Boy, my baby, is thirteen now. When I back him up against the fancy-schmancey "family tree" where I've marked the tops of kid heads for nearly 18 years, he's almost 3/4 of an inch taller than he was two months ago on his birthday, which was nearly 5 inches taller than he was on his 12th birthday, which is exactly 3 inches higer than the sharpie mark designated "Tracy," added a few years ago when Munchkin #1 was eager to see if she was passing me in height. (She didn't. We are exactly the same height, though she generally has better posture than I do.)

I take pride in being a mother who pays attention, who soaks in every detail, yet I find myself sitting at the kitchen table sometimes, absorbed in something... maybe mundane or perhaps profane... and my attention is drawn by something as simple as a word or phrase...

"neural pathways"

...and I tune in to a conversation about one's taste in music being less a conscious decision than a recognition by the brain that a melody is similar or different from those you most frequently listen to.

Sometimes these moments feel like waking after a long, long sleep. Who are these people in my house? Where did they come from? How is it that they come up with all of these marvelous thoughts, all of their very own making?

I often associate this kind of awe with the early days of motherhood, days of babes in arms, a time when I simply could not get enough of holding them, watching them sleep, listening to them breathe. There is this memory of a feeling of having grown more than twice my size, on the inside, somewhere in the vicinity of my heart and my brain, struggling with the wonder that I had anything to do, at all, with someone so whole and complete and entirely independent.

I think to myself, wasn't it just yesterday? Because I thought I was doing a good job of paying attention, yet we've gotten from there to here is such a short, short time.

My attention may be drawn by the fact that his pants are too short, again, but my mind gets stuck on the fact that I am looking a full three inches up into his blue, blue eyes, that I know are the same color as mine, and have often made me think of my dad, my grandfather, in the 13 years this little big guy has been in my life.

I look up to all three of my children, my son now literally as well as figuratively.

And I continue to be filled with awe.

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