Things around here are changing, yet staying the same all at once. There is still frequent sickness, never ending mess, and large amounts of "smartassery." At the same time there seems to be this gentle settling. The four of us are at turning points in our lives, slowly turning into whoever we will be next.
Caroline is slowly finding her way to whatever path she will choose in life. She alternates between gleefully leaping there to fighting it for all she is worth. Within a ten minute time frame we encounter Caroline the young woman who quickly reverts back to her toddler self. I get flash backs to the child who made me question if I was even cut out to be a parent, the one I chased and wrestled, and tried so hard not to strangle. At those moments I look at Rob and mouth "WTH?" Yet today, when I was home with her (strep), she started showing signs of self control. She snapped at me and quickly corrected herself, "I didn't realize how that would sound, I'm sorry." Oh sweet joy! That acknowledgement is worth more than gold. It is the sweetest present ever. I know it is short lived and that when I sit down to study science with her tomorrow, I will emerge downstairs shaking and soaked in sweat like a prison torturer after a particularly hard job. But today, I will hold onto that small triumph.
I watched The Lovely Bones with her today. The book is one of the most hauntingly beautiful things that I have ever read. I have heard that the movie had been changed and sweetened losing the true feeling of the book, but was still curious. Everything I'd read about it lead me to believe it would be ok for her. It was and she loved it. If you haven't read it, you must before you see the movie and skip down to the next paragraph, so I don't ruin it. There was always one part of the book that annoyed me. The murdered girls possesses another girl to get her first kiss from the boy she liked before she was killed. Now I know why it was in the book and why it was important. In the movie, as she kissed him, I heard the smallest sigh from Caroline. She understood. The character was on the brink of becoming, just like her. Only instead of moving forward, she was frozen in time. The kiss let her move just a little bit forward.
Now onto Rob. It is no secret how much I adore and am annoyed by my husband. He and I seem to have spent many years orbiting in separate solar systems, joining together to solve family and household tasks. Lately, we seem to have found a common system. It started with running errands together and using that time to joke and chat and remember why we ended up together in the first place. Next week it is my 40th birthday. Rob wanted to do something special for me, so he took me to Berkley Springs, West Virginia to a bed and breakfast. We spent two days walking around poking in art shops and antique stores. We have lovely quiet meals and saw a movie. It was so nice and so comfortable. We swapped memories of our grandparents as we looked at antiques. He seemed truly interested in how different pottery was made and how different artists created their pieces. I told him that I have a vision of how we will be after the children are grown. I used to think that we'd have nothing to talk about after they have moved on. Now I know we can exist on our own together as more than just Mom and Dad.
And Lily? Lily is getting more grown up everyday. She is still willful, although it is usually the result of boredom or curiosity. She is learning so much everyday. She writes everyday in a journal carefully sounding out words. She dances for me and tells me the name of each step. She watches antique shows with Rob and tries to guess how much each thing is worth. She still loves and cares for her babies, showing them love that she never shows her sister. Lily is a frustrating marvel.
I am finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. We are leaving diapers, sleepless nights, and babyhood behind. We are growing up.