Why does it surprise me?

they are different
small, unique spawn of my loins
this is such a shock

I know it's ridiculous to admit this, but everyday I stare at my children and wonder where they came from. They are so familiar and integral to my daily life, hell, to my survival, and yet, I look at them and wonder how those little faces came to be. How do those little brains work? What must they be thinking all the time?

Sometimes I feel like they are strangers and that is a weird thing to feel when you are looking at their butts all day. But it's true. Wondering how they came to be is like trying to comprehend string theory – you get lost in the possibilities and endless dimensions.

Of course they aren't strangers to me. I feel closer to them than it seems possible. But they catch me off guard with these looks on their faces, or with little declarations, and I wonder who these people must be.

How do all three kids look so different? You can tell they're siblings, for sure, but it is amazing and astounding that the three of them could come from me and my husband and look so different. It makes me want to have a million kids just to see the different combinations we could make.

Maybe all of this is crazy to talk about, I don't know. I just stare at Ike-a-saurus and wonder how in the world we got to where we are right now. I feel such a close bond with him, but when I look at that little face and it is not the face of the wee one and it is not the face of the wee-er one, I find it shocking. I find his baby smell shocking. I find all of him shocking. He is a tiny little person. A unique soul. Shocking.

I feel this way about the wee-er one, too. Carting around her babies all day, putting a burp cloth over her shoulder and demanding that I hand Ike-a-saurus to her when he's crying. Who IS this person? Who is this child with the delicate features and fiery temper and love for shoes?

The wee one does not seem such a stranger to me. Is that because he was first? Because I've been looking at his cute mug for longer? He still surprises me and catches me off guard, but when I look at his face I know him. He is mine. It's not like the others don't feel like mine. Of course they do, they just seem so… different.

Is it weird to realize that my children are all different? I mean, duh. And yet, it is such this cosmic wonder to me, the creation of new people. Actual new human beings with feelings and thoughts and love and pain and all of the intensity of being alive. I find it remarkable.

One is at school, one is sleeping on my chest, one is dressing her baby doll in real baby clothes that were just washed and now will have to be washed again. She is telling her baby she needs to pump. She is telling him, "I love you baby, let me take off your clothes." (I struggle to not say "That's what he said!" when she says this.) She has her baby bundled in the pouch that is way too big and she is trying to carry him around the room. Where did this child come from?

I can't stand it sometimes. How lucky I am.

4 thoughts on “Why does it surprise me?

  1. I’d like to know how it came about that the oldest talks in my accent, the the middle talks like my immigrant Italian ancestors. Crazy.


  2. I’ve been noticing how different my girls are lately, too. It’s so funny how, even at 8.5 months, Penny Jane’s personality is so very and obviously different from Abby’s. Dan and I will name characteristics of the girls and say, “Oops, that’s from me,” “Oh, that’s totally you!” and just laugh at how weird genetics is.
    I look at my kids and just kind of gawk, too. The very concepts of conception and gestation and birth seem completely unrelated to these little beings that live with me and need me so much. Surely they just appeared one day, right? Because I totally don’t get how that whole birth thing could have resulted in them. It boggles the mind. How did God come up with this stuff???


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