There are days when you fall into a rhythm. Its a day relatively low on the stress scale. The voice volumes only rise when someone is screeching before a belly busting roll of giggles.
On days like this the little things about my kids make me smile when I'm not thinking about it. Those of you with kids know exactly of what I speak - you just suddenly find the corners of your mouth twitched upward as you stare at your kid. Your stare so focused your perphial vision blurs.
Honestly, you go through it at a subconscious level - filing away the little thing for future smile inducing moments without recognizing what you're doing. Today it dawned on me, this thing that we mom's do, as the three of us walked along the boarded sidewalk at the river.
Its not a terribly long walk but its a nice one. We take our time starting off by throwing some of the baby's puffed up stars to the ducks. (Ducks, apparently, love cherry flavored Gerber finger foods.) Logan walks for a while and then he decides he'd rather ride and snack on puffs himself. He takes his seat in the back of the great-big-double-stroller. Meg sits up front so she can see everything around her without obstructed view.
Today there was a breeze. It was a beautifully warm day with one of those summer breezes that wraps a cozy hug around your shoulders as it whispers in your ear and gently moves the hair from your forehead. When you live near the shore, this sort of breeze brings with it the comingling smells of salt water and suntan lotion. Its a fantastic scent.
I was inhaling deeply, trying to catch that scented breeze and hold it in as long as I could. I glanced down at the two red-headed heads riding along before me. The older one reaching a hand under the canopy to pat the little one. He coos "Oh, I love my little baby sister. Megan Rose, you are so cute." It makes me smile, but that doesn't surprise me because it always makes me smile. It was what I noticed next that pulled out the secret zoning out smile.
It's Meg's hair.
Her strawberry blonde locks that curl up at the ends on humid days is now long enough to blow in the breeze. When she'd lean back against the stroller, the wind would blow her hair over the seat top. The not quite 'wispy' strands fluttered. It was so very little girl and no longer little baby.
I caught myself in mid-smile. It occured to me that it wasn't just the hair. It was that, as Logan has begun to remind us recently, she's not a baby anymore. To quote big brother, she's a "tot-ler". She's still a month and half shy of the offical "Totler" age, yet her growth has suddenly propeled her there.
She walks. She talks. She's displaying that typical toddler ability to lay claim to every item in her line of sight and to scream bloody murder when said items are removed from her grasp. She's clearly in posession of a very well defined personality - complete with a wicked sense of humor and a horrid little stubborn streak. She tries to wink at us by squeezing her eyes shut and then quickly opening them - the eye lid twitch made even smoother by the great big smile on her face as she does it.
She's become so expressive and exhibits her ability to understand what we're saying to her even if she can't answer us verbally. She's taken to giving kisses - her latest victims of the big sloppy, smushing of open mouth being my knee and Logan's cheek bones. She's figured out Eskimo kisses and will shake her head rapidly if you put your nose close to hers.
She dances. She sings. She giggles so much her body shakes. She can bend over to pick something up while standing without support. She can *almost* stand up straight without pulling up on something. She can do so many things that it sometimes seems impossible to remember a year ago she wasn't even here.
All that floods to me by the sight of that red hair fluttering the breeze. The hair that had been so close to the head and fuzzy 10 and half months ago. The hair that today needs two barrets. Its amazing what such a few strands can do to you!