They have this way of talking, special conversations between the two of them. He sits next to her and asks questions, Is that your shirt? Are you okay? Are you thirsty? No, Harper, that’s not a baby, that’s a dog. She looks up at her big brother and in a sweet, high pitched voice tells a tale in words to complicated for adults. Somehow he gets what she’s saying and responds. He waits for her answer. Repeat.
It’s my favorite thing.
Sometimes he speaks for her, but mostly she speaks well enough for herself. Want some chips Harps? And without waiting, Harper wants some chips. For breakfast. How could anyone refuse when they both want chips, for breakfast? I laugh and she confirms their request with a squeal. Chips. They have already learned the power of joining forces.
When he’s sick, she senses the difference and and brings him essentials: bears, cars, coloring books, and her babies. She sets off on a mission and doesn’t stop until all of babies and animals have been relocated to his side. She’s sits with him and if he throws up or coughs, she makes the same sounds. Her eyes tell how she loves doing this for him and his gentle smile comes alive and he thanks her.
He named his bear, Beetabop. Beetabop it is.
The way he’s cautious and she is fearless makes this perfect blend. She instigates the stacking chairs on top of the coffee tables. At eighteen months. He catches the infectious look of her eyes and joins. When we intervene, she’s crushed and he gets over it quickly. We’ve banned her from watching any of the gymnastics during the Olympics. She doesn’t need anymore ideas at the moment. But, that thrill in her eyes, the way she is so alive when jumping off the couch or climbing across a collection of furniture, it’s the most amazing to witness. The wild eyes, the energy, the moment between the destinations, the squeal, her happy place.
This week, I took them to the park where the play structure is not too high for small ones and she couldn’t believe how I let her roam across the bridges and scale the stairs. One of those squeaky bridges caused her brother to pause and ask for my hand, while her little legs bolted across bravely onward.
She is expressive and he is pensive. The worlds he creates in his head, the way his toys have ideas and feelings and stories to tell. We marvel. When she sleeps, we build little towns of trains and Lincoln logs and animals and garages for his cars. It’s creating and possibilities, getting lost in imagination and adding details just for fun. And by fun I mean necessity, because life is our canvas and we can create just the basics or revel in the beautiful details. Especially… the details.
You know, in the same way that God created rocks that sparkle with a parade of colors and rocks that are every inch smooth and black. How he designed sunsets and snowflakes and the color scheme of fall. The way leaves rustle a sweet song when they dance with the wind. The way that the sea is moody and grey one day, then brilliant and blue the next. It’s all extra, the finishing touches on his great work. Because, why not? Because, he can.
And in the same way, he could have just given us any old random kids, but I’m in awe of how he knows us and our children. We talk endlessly of dreams, risk, adventures and here we have this wild eyed, daredevil of a daughter looking for every chance to fly. Her brave heart left in our care. Our boy with his quiet ways and a head full of stories and possibilities. That which we pursue for ourselves, we are entrusted to protect and nurture in them. An adventure within the adventure, really.
It makes me feel small in the best way, how this huge part of my story is really about them, and how these pieces of them are so crucial to who I am. How we met and fell in love and made babies, these two marvelous babies. What a wonder these details that make up our days.
Rocks on the shore, decorated with a parade of colors that sparkle and glisten, shades of bravery and possibilities and love.
What do you see in the eyes of your children? What details leave you in awe? What radiates from the shore?