And then they smile... and it's all okay.
It seems that the smile comes around 2 months, when their sleep is starting to be better organized and the colicky evenings are going away (though, come to think of it, Sadie Beth never really did that) and everyone is starting to fall into a rhythm.
And later, they start to grow up into big girls, you can't look away! They are curious and sassy and full of personality. You have to watch them so closely because they will be hanging from the ceiling or learning entirely new things that you didn't expect to see. You'll cry the first time you can put her hair into a big girl ponytail. She will be constantly in motion, climbing, digging, chasing her brother, because she wants to be just like her big brother.
Oh and her brother! He will have ever changing interests and energy that you can only envy. He will learn to write his name and draw you maps of cowboy towns and cowboys. He'll be far more sensitive than you would have thought. He's still so young, but so very big and capable. Sometimes it's easy to forget how very young he is, and then there will be moments when it will sneak up on him.
There are times when I see bits of myself in these children, and times when I have to honestly wonder who or what gave them the personality and ideas that they have. I know that it is hard and it is changing me in ways I never thought possible, but I feel blessed to be able to watch them grow and discover the world around them. I feel like I'm just beginning to get a good idea of how to be a good mother (poor Jonah!) and how to give them the space to become who they are meant to be, and the space to allow myself to be who I am meant to be.
I was reminded this week that I may be Mama, but I am also myself, a wife and storyteller, a sister and daughter, and teacher. If I am fully myself, I can allow them to become more fully aware of who they are, and what their place is in our family, and in this world. Whatever they decide to become, I hope I can help to shape them to do it well, and with all of the gusto and enthusiasm that they use to approach life with now.