Any mama with more than one child knows that it's impossible to pick favourites - but sometimes like a flash of light, you feel an almost painful love for one child... before another one walks in the room - or skins their knee - or creates a thing of beauty, or has a bad day and needs a hug - or is called to mind for no earthly reason that you can think of... and then the flash of light - moves delicately from child to child - hovering here - dwelling there - magically touching on each child equally, individually, uniquely...
The big girls were at violin - the two middlies were outside, and the two littlest boys were playing at my feet.
But my ten and a half year old was being ten and a half.
Ten and a half is this achingly beautiful age where in a certain light, she almost looks like a teenager... but she still might need to be reminded to brush her hair.
My shoes are still a teeny bit big on her - but she wants to borrow them anyway.
She crafts with paper and markers and scissors, sleeps with her stuffies and checks her email.
She grabbed the moment with no big sisters watching - and with her wide mouth full of perfectly spaced teeth smiling at me asked, "Mama - what do you like about me, and what don't you like about me?"
*instant painful bursting overflowing love*
The good rushes to mind - this is my most compassionate child - full of sympathy, bridge building and crooning mothering attention. This child rocks the baby to sleep, sooths angry, screaming six year olds and begs me not to discipline her siblings.
Images of my boisterous girl leaping into my arms are called to memory too. My girl having no concept at all for personal space, kissing me on the lips or touching noses. She's all about big movements, big noise, close contact... but suddenly - looking at her now... those things don't seem quite as annoying as they usually do.
Her eyes are this colour that i'm sure exists nowhere else on the planet - green growth mixed with earthy browns and sky blues... They're sparkling, luminous orbs that only the least attentive could overlook. Her arms are long and thin - even her hands and feet are tapered - right down to her fingers and toes. Her right thumb is ever so slightly misshapen from the habit that has been *so hard to kick*. Her thick brown lashes and her year round bronzed skin are reminiscent of her daddy's.
As we visit, she keeps disappearing - trying to find just the right shirt to wear with her new pass-me-down pants from Sloanie's latest growth spurt.
Does she know?
Can she feel this love - protective and fierce - that i have for her?
Our hour slips by... the other children are coming home soon...
Does she feel me watching her as she peels the potatoes with her brown hair slipping out from behind her ear, the chipped nail polish calling attention to those little fingers working diligently until each naked potato is ready to be boiled.
o little ones...
This is the part that is so hard to capture in blogging...
This is the part where you'll never know the painful depths of your daddy's and my love.
This is the part... where i need you to look deeper - beyond these meagre words... to the meat of who i am...