Monday, August 24, 2009


(From when the twins were born, 6 years ago this month)

Well, the newborn twins are with us for a while, and are they ever new. And since we know from experience that newborn newness is as temporary as a dewdrop we are making the most of it, short of keeping the little sleepies awake too long.

After each of the babies in my life has grown up, I've somehow managed to forget how tiny newborns are, a lapse absolutely corrected by the next newcomer. Throughout their ephemeral awakenings, how wrinkly and skinny and endearing they are, with their tiny actual legs and feet with genuine toes, hands and fingers that work, professional yawns as though they've been yawning all their lives, which in fact they have been.

Between yawns they lie there patiently, practicing all the many faces, smiling a full-bloom smile before they even have a sense of humor; then there's a look of heartbreaking disappointment, hopefully never to be used, but practiced nonetheless. And rage, and glee and other excitements: all rehearsals.

Even when their kitten-cries pierce the air like arrows, carry upstairs and downstairs, penetrate thick walls and doors and bring instant silence to the most important adult conversation, they aren't really crying, they aren't in actual despair; like humor, that also requires personal experience of the highs and lows of the world out there, for which they're busy rehearsing. So as they weep and laugh it is our pleasure to feel it on their behalf.

And before they drift off to sleep, they watch for miracles with those bright brown eyes, as the faces of ancestors drift through their own by the minute, as clouds through a sky: there is their mother in the smile; now their father about the eyes, then the look of an uncle of mine, and then the young face of my mother, as they pass through all the faces they have come from, including me, I guess. It is startling to see one's own memories flow across those tiny others, who just got here. At no moment in our lives are we apart from eternity.

Hence the familiar ancient feeling one feels, on peeping in through the bedroom door to see them at last asleep: two tiny quiet bumps in the coverlet beside each other, two tiny lifesteps out into the world that we will do our best to ensure are continued on pathways of goodness and joy.


Tabor said...

This post is almost too sweet for me to comment. Boy, the time just disappears like mist in the bright sun, doesn't it?

wgaw said...

gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous

Casey said...

you have a way with words, and these particular ones, as much as i appreciate them now, will probably ring a lot more true in a few more months...thanks for the preview

Maggie said...

I'm frightened to death of newborns, but at the age of books, they become mine. :) You are blessed indeed.

Joy Des Jardins said...

Oh sweet joy....this is too much. Thank you for the look-back Bob and your beautiful words...I missed them the first time around. Sweet angels... ~Joy

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. I so wish I lived closer to mine. Enjoy! :)