Just Look at You

On our trip back to Australia in June others seemed to catch on to the idea before me. As we’d walk from the car, or stand at a freshly opened door, I’d see the glance in her direction.

“Look at you! Just, look at you”.

Maybe in another era she would have been told that she’d blossomed. But for now, hadn’t she grown, a teenager. Our first little traveller arrived with no braces, pierced ears, and just enough height to put her close enough to me and that little bit further away from her siblings.

My observations were more routine. I was more interested in what seemed to be a constant yet ever changing book in her hands. As she’d unfold her lanky legs into the front seat of the car I’d feel the excitement brewing at the idea of uninterrupted book time. She’d read at dinner, in bed in the mornings, and in between visits with friends. Her reading allowed me the indulgence of a mother, an opportunity to stare at her from across the room, uninterrupted minutes of wonder. How did you get so big? The same obvious question flickering like a broken fluorescent light. When did you grow up?

“Hasn’t she grown up” a friend said as she looked over in her direction, and as if on cue, she looked up from the page through her giraffe length lashes and flashed her orthodontic masterpiece.

It was then that I saw it.

There behind the blushing and the screwed up nose.

The face of my baby.

Time will pass. Our surrounds will change. For others she will grow.

But I will always see, my baby.

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