Sunday, June 23, 2013

On Eyes and Change

I realized today that my daughter’s eyes are almost the same color as my carpet, a grayish blue that brightens in sunlight. We spend a lot of time on the carpet these days: talking, rolling, arching, smiling and scooting around. She likes movement; she likes activity.

She always has.

People often notice her eyes because of her alertness; she is nothing if not aware. My first look at her after she was born found me looking into open eyes, and in the hours following her birth she was awake—defying the nurses as they talked about the sleepy newborn period that seems to happen the first 24 hours.


“You don’t have to like them the first two months; most people don’t.” This nugget of truth was relayed to us by Curtis’s coworker, who was told it by her pediatrician when she had her first child. “I thought I knew what tired was because of residency; having a child brought me to a whole new level.”

It’s interesting to begin looking back on the progress we have made in fifteen weeks. It is even more interesting to enter the world of parents who rejoice over arched backs and eye contact, who take note of head control and head shape, who think that sleeping until 6am is worth celebrating.

Yesterday she started to play with toys. She grasps her tiny fingers around edges and moves them to make noise. I am not sure if she truly grasps the cause and effect of the experience, but she is intentional all the same. She thinks. She acts. She is a little human that has already grown out of stack of clothes, infant swaddles and the smallest notch for the seatbelt in her car seat.

So much has already changed, and yet her eyes remain the same: piercing, focused, aware.

Curtis and I often wonder how the characteristics she possesses now will play out as she gets older: will she always resist sleep? Will she crave activity? Will she always be so aware and alert and observant? There is one thing we can count on: whatever stability seems to become predictable will surely change. For now we rest in what seems to be her normal. Tomorrow? I guess we will see when we get there. 

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