Saturday, June 27, 2015

Her Father's Eyes


 
At a 4th of July party last year, we all found out that this wee baby was going to be a girl.
It's hard to believe that she's 8 months old already.  
We kind of like her a little bit.

She is the light at every family gathering.  All smiles and giggles and stories in her own language.

We huddle around her like campers to a campfire on a cold, damp morning.
What must she think of us studying her?  

She went for her first 'swim' in our pool the other day.  I found her a little floating raft with a cover over the top.
She loves the water. 
Splashing followed by surprise at the water in her face.  
Eyebrows up, blinking eyes.  Looking to Katie for whether to be afraid or not.

I have an odd mix of extreme joy and melancholy when she is around.  
She has her father's eyes--my son's eyes.  
They are exactly his.  
The shape.  
The way they crease the corners of her face. 
The light and expression they provide.

Why does this make me sad?  
Because I see my first born in her eyes.  
My first baby.  
I fell madly, deeply in love with him---a love I thought was reserved for lovers. 
His smell, his smile, his laugh, his every move.  
I missed him when he slept or when I was away from him.
Seeing that baby boy in Evie's eyes is much like seeing a first love again after many, many years apart.  I miss that baby and that simple time in my life.

Preston is now grown and what a fine young man he has become.
He is an amazing daddy to this little pumpkin.  He adores her and she him.  
I would never have imagined this for him.  Married with a baby by 23.
Now I can't imagine any other way for him.


I don't know if a comparison is fair to either one of them, but he is like Eric in so many ways. Conscientious, hard working, selfless, driven, silly, willing, loving, smart, and an amazing husband and father.  Just like all parents and children, we went through our rough patches with one another.  I hope Preston can one day see that those places when he hated us the most are those places that we loved him the most.  

Being a dad is the very hardest job he will ever have.  Everly will make him laugh and make him proud and also make him cry and pray harder than he's ever prayed in his life.  He will raise her to think for herself, to discover life outside his protective home and will have days when he wishes he he could take those things back--Shelter her from others, from herself.  

He will do just fine.  He'll survive, just like Eric and I have.  All the worrisome years will melt away and he will see Evie become a lovely young woman, just like he has become a wonderful young man.
One day he'll understand the pride we have in him, because he'll feel it for Evie.
One day he'll understand the love we have for him.
I suspect he already understands that part though.