(I wanted to share this piece again, a story of life)
The first awe filled look out of newborn eyes, blinking, staring in wonder into my own. Trusting wide eyes that close in gratitude as a little body is wrapped and held close, sheltered and warm.
Baby’s sweet breath on my chest, even, deep, soft slumber. Labor is over, or, is it just beginning? Your eyes filled with those first sanguine moments, the calm before the storm.
The anguish of adjustment, I pace with you, back and forth. During a breathless pause I see in your eyes, the innocence, the discomfort, pleading with me to understand.
You would sleep if you could. So I close my own eyes, swallow tears of frustration and continue to carry you. Patting your back until I feel like my arms will fall off from fatigue.
So it goes until a certain moment, when a new light appears in your eyes, each day subtle changes come. Eyes filled with the wonder of discovering new things. With amazement as you learn to walk, unsteady so I hold your hand. Occasionally you let go then grasp for my fingers, to steady your step.
Each day your eyes are changing, brightening at the funny bird hopping along, laughing as you dump water on my head, or the whole box of sunflower seeds, which I try to grasp, but the seeds slip from my fingers cascading down as your peals of laughter fill my ears.
As you grow, I try to catch the moments, those sudden unexpected turnings from one stage of life to another. At times as you sleep I slip into your room, gathering you up for a moment, breathing in the essence of your spirit. Because I know that when you awaken you will be different, a little bit older, and a new you will emerge.
Each day comes in like the tide and retreats just as swiftly. At moments we suddenly notice this and rush after the water trying to catch a bit of what was once there. But days like the tide don’t tend to stick around and with each retreating tide a change is so suddenly made.
Thus it is that I find myself staring into the eyes of a teenager. Where did my little friend go? Your eyes are guarded, guarded against the pricks of the world, begging for acceptance.
Sometimes I see you, the real you, hiding behind those eyes of yours. Those are sacred moments, jewels I like to treasure because at the first your little soul was a diamond, now sullied and roughed up by the careless acts of harsh eyes.
If I could I would polish it again to revel in the joy of your laughter. Laughter which too often now is shared with others, others who are your friends, I am not there to see your eyes shine.
I take all of this into account as I continue to care for you, looking after your needs until one day, your eyes stare into mine with understanding again. That accusing teenage look has finally slipped away. Though I have still lost you, to the alluring call of the world.
You go out on your own and are so often gone. Then suddenly you are here again, your eyes filled with the exciting joy of love, and I share in your joy, glad to see the old spark again.
Just as suddenly, I find that your eyes hold the remnants of a shattered soul, and I watch as you try to put the pieces back together again.
More guarded now your eyes meet many more people who fill them with happiness. You find one pair that shares your sacred soul connection and you marry, bringing new little eyes into my life.
I revel in their innocence, finding that I can savor their spicy little spirits, more so because I am not the one patting and carrying their little backs throughout the night.
My eyes now are often filled with the touch of a friend, looking into other eyes, seeking to bless other souls. Things are turning again, again I see less and less of your eyes.
Until one day, my expectations about life begin to change. Where I once held you strong against my breast, I find that my arms ache. Not from the constant care bestowed on another, but from the strain of living.
I look out of eyes, grown wiser with age, but weaker as well. I wonder over the rising and setting of the sun, the stars as they rotate through the sky and I look into your eyes again.
Searching for the understanding that was between us at the first. You hold me close to your chest, and hold my hand to steady me as I try to walk. To me, I feel safe and secure, wrapped in a blanket, sheltered and warm.