Life Portraits

I wrote this three years ago for Mother’s Day:

I look with uncertainty at the project at hand, the wriggling grub worm unaware of his destiny.  “I can do it,” my daughter tells me matter-of-factly.  The warm wind blows her golden hair across her face.  Confidently, she takes the unsuspecting worm and baits him from end to end on her fishhook.  Her four year-old fingers move with precision.  With amazement I look upon my little girl, so eager to learn and experience life.  Her clear eyes dance, scanning the waters of the small pond before us.  I gently take her fishing rod and cast as far as I can.  She quickly reaches for the pole and begins to reel in her line with the passion of childhood.  I wrap my arms around her and whisper into her ear, “I’m so proud of you!”

“Mommy watch this!”  he exclaims with pride.  His volume rises with each word he pronounces.  I turn from the wreckage of laundry scattered across the floor.  His small hand grabs for mine.  It’s sticky.  He pulls me around the corner.  He releases my hand and his feet start to prance in anticipation.  In a flash he advances full speed at his target.  He leaps aggressively and is soon caught up in strong arms.  Flying, rolling, squealing, flailing, they’re everywhere.  His eyes are shining, so full of life, revealing his greatest passion.  My heart swells with indescribable joy as I watch them.  My son and his hero, his daddy.

I hear a cry in the night and I lurch out of bed, unstable yet on my feet, disoriented.  I blindly make my way to his side.  I lift him up and is expectation overwhelms him.  He knows what comes.  Grunting and rooting he shakes his tiny head and his fingers make their way to his expectant lips, pursed and desperate.  He suckles vigorously, his passion for life consuming him.  I take it all in.  His little hands, his little feet, the feel of him snuggled up to me, his smell – so new, so fresh.  His one persistent objective is a quest for life.  I fight back tears as I urgently whisper into the night, “Please don’t grow.  Please don’t change!”