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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Changes. Caught on Tape

I got about 4" cut off my hair and it seems like I've started a little in house (in flat?) trend of changes! Big Sister wants her goldilocks cut, too and now even the boys are noodling through new styles. I'm not sure I'd recognize the guys without their surfer/skater mop tops anymore but confess that seeing more of their sweet little faces has an appeal.

We watched home movies (including one of Big Sister's tearful first haircut!) for Family Night on Sunday. Shades of watching slide shows when I was little, Baby Sister is clearly under represented and not just because she's been with us the shortest amount of time. It will never be the same for all of them but she'll be fine.

We must take more movies of all of them. Of us together. They are precious time capsules. To be able to revisit the children who change every day, to hear their voices when they were tiny, it is all incredibly dear.

We each picked a disk and watched our life completely out of sequence. There was little mewling infant Big Sister on her first Christmas Eve while chubby brothers in matching flannel tiny man button up pajamas put carrots out for reindeer.  There was Baby Sister, seconds after she arrived, being weighed. (9 pounds, 1 ounce. In case you forgot. I haven't.) The first time the smalls met Baby Sister. There was tiny Big Brother with a xylophone mallet clenched between his baby teeth. He seemed to wait interminably in the wings while Biggest Brother gave a guitar solo dressed as a cowboy, until finally announcing (to a roar in our flat!) "I'm smoking!" There was Biggest Brother singing without a care to crowds waiting to see the Liberty Bell. And moments later, standing in front of said bell, asking us completely innocently whether he might be allowed to ring it.

The children are honestly each others best friends and I am lucky enough that it is my "job" to get to see that in person every day. And to be there to soothe the tears when best friends squabble, too. At our parent conferences, teachers commented on how apparent their affection is for each other at school. How they cheer so much for each other and seem to delight in being together. That the novelty of their being buddies isn't wearing off.

I see that most days, but there was something uniquely wonderful about witnessing and reliving how that all began when they were babies and toddlers together in a way I could pause. To see Big Brother showing Baby Sister what all the Easter Bunny brought her. The kindness with which they touched each other even then. How wide eyed Big Brother watched and listened to everything Biggest Brother said and did. (Still does.) All of it caught on tape. When they were so tiny. And I know in a matter of months, I'll look back on movies and photos of them from this week and wonder why I thought they were so fully grown and big now. Already pictures from last summer of the 4 of them look so dated.

My favorite movies were of really nothing special at all. Of the boys eating "al fresco." Big Brother wearing a sun hat and sitting in a high chair under a freebie (Richmond Braves giveaway!) umbrella made into a sunshade. We took note of what they were eating (portions of grapes!) and wearing (tiny polo shirts over diapers and undies!) and revelled in the everydayness of the moment. We tickled at quizzical baby Big Brother hearing birds above that big umbrella and being confounded by the noise. The boys' adventurous obstacle courses set up in our tiny dining room. The everyday brought back to me in full color. I could do everything but smell their baby smells. Video you'd only want to watch if they were yours. And they're mine. It is a wonder I'm not playing the tapes again right now.

Everyone was noticing all the many, many changes we've witnessed in each other and in ourselves, too. What are a few inches, dozens of pounds, and all shades blonde and brunette (those last 3 changes being mine alone!) between loved ones?

I know I can't keep any of us from changing. (Although I'd be happy if I could keep this hair color without spending another dime. Or investing what I do in various face potions.) But I am newly resolved to documenting - especially on video - the children and our normal life together. It is too precious not to.

The boys are talking about crafting a guest post on the blog soon. Maybe they'll unveil newly shorn little heads. Maybe you'll be even able to see their ears! Stay tuned.


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