She’s always the first one up.
Her sun kissed legs, padding above, aren’t much longer than Brody’s, but they are more confident and purposeful and quick.
Although she’s yet to round the corner, I See her tousled locks and rosy cheeks and sleepy eyes.
Wrapped inside this shared quiet, she usually curls beside me in the green chair. Her small frame warm and flexible in the way that only morning can make children.
I know it’s the six year old, almost a first grader version of my baby that sits by my side. But my baby, is exactly who I see.
I feel the way she used to curve into me. Her breath warm against my neck, one full cheek pressed against my shoulder, lips pursed, diapered bottom out. A perfect fit.
But today, she’s carrying a damp hairbrush in one hand and detangler in the other.
“Will you brush my hair?” She asks, tiny water droplets drizzling down her arm onto her pink cotton nightgown, as she splays her offering.
How can I resist?
I can’t, and I don’t.
So we settle onto the aged carpet. Morning light streams through open windows in slices, framing our small space on the floor.
She winces at the pull of the brush and the cold of the water edging onto her bare neck.
“Tip your head up,” I say by rote, my MindPencil already listing breakfast and outfits and errands and outings.
“Look Mama,” She says, bringing me back to her. “You made a horse.”
I follow her eyes to the wrought iron frames on the wall, so seemingly big when we sit curled so very small.
Of course she sees a horse here.
“I think,” I smile, still tugging the snaggles out of her brightest ends, the ones that reach mid-back, the ones that are the perfect mix of sunshine and littlegirl and BigKid, “That you see everything in pictures.”
“I do,” she says, ever sure of who she is.
This knowing how she thinks in this un-muddied way that streams right through the Open, much like that morning sunshine.
But before I get too lost in my own thoughts, she brings me back yet again. “How do you see things?” She asks.
And so we begin to form this puzzle. I can’t think of a better one to put together.
“I see things in stories.” I say, she nods in agreement.
“And Brody?” She asks.
“Brody sees how to take things apart, then how to put them back together.” I answer.
“And then back apart again.” She adds. We laugh at this truth, both of us our best within this AloneTogether.
“And Daddy,” We continue the game, “Sees what all the problems are, and how to fix them.” She approves.
“What about Kayli?” She asks, her head still tipped towards the horse. We pause, I keep brushing her already smooth hair.
“I’m not sure how Kayli sees things.” I say, “We’ll have to ask her!”
I shake the urge to bite my lip and buy NotKnowing worries, reminding myself that Watching and Waiting to really See is just fine.
And once everyone’s made their way downstairs, we do these exact things.
We tell our HeartParts about the light and the brush and the horse, and the pictures and the stories and the apart-and together-and-apart-agains and about the fixes.
“What about me?” Kayli asks, and my Mama Heart tugs at not having this answer.
“We weren’t quite sure about you, sweet girl!” I say, reaching for her.
We’re all uncharacteristically quiet for almost long enough for my worries to take root.
But one heartbeat later we all speak, our words melding around each other. The loudest one wins, so it goes in a family of five.
“That’s okay.” Kayli says, smiling, wrapping her slender arm around my waist.
“What do you think?” I ask, placing my own arm on top of hers.
And Chloe, Chloe’s gem shines the brightest and threads above the rest, “You always see the good.”
And for once, we all smile and Quiet at the same time, our puzzle pieces firmly in place.
So I have to ask, how do you see things?
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