Today I stopped to really see Emerald. We were in the middle of her first ever in-the-theater movie. This twenty-two month old little ball of energy was nap-deprived and candy-hyped, so I was really surprised when she sat in the seat and even put on her 3D glasses. She seemed really proud of herself, a tiny tagalong to her older siblings and cousins, sitting on the end of the row, eating her very own movie theater popcorn.
She was squirmy and she was excited. The loud music started with the previews, and it didn’t phase her even a little bit. She seemed completely at ease, kicked back in her chair like she owned the place, while I held down her seat with my leg to keep it from folding up on her tiny self.
Every once in awhile she would turn to grin at me, obviously pleased by the turn of events that had led her to this spot. And, every time she looked over to catch my eye, with her silly movie glasses and her smile filled with those gorgeous little baby teeth, I thought about how quickly she is growing. How one day in the not-so-distant future those little pearly whites will be replaced by awkward big kid teeth. How soon I will be walking my last baby to kindergarten. All of life comes soon. And big kid-ness comes like fog that one morning is suddenly standing at your door. You didn’t even notice it coming, and then one day you wake up and there it is.
And I thought about how many days go by when I don’t take the time to stop and really see my babiest baby. But, today was not one of those days.
Today I saw her.
And, when she and I walked out into the bright mall corridor about an hour into the movie, I was almost glad that she grew bored and got a little too talkative in the theater. We walked around the mall, she lagging, meandering, singing, stopping to look at what interested her. And, while passers-by smiled her way, I watched her with fresh eyes. I saw her as the tiny God-gift she is, the baby that I thought would never be, the child who wears me out and wakes me up and wants me above all others. What a precious time in life.
Today I really saw her. And tonight I whisper a little prayer before I lay down a very weary head that tomorrow will be another seeing day. That I won’t lose a moment of the wonder of her, even when things get chaotic in this family of five. She is worth slowing down for. Time may speed on, but I will steal some moments to look into those blue eyes and remember what a blessing she is. Because right now she is mine.
And I love what I see.