fifteen minutes in the life


eva o' lantern

i love this shot of eva with her pigtails, and below is the pumpkin i carved based on that photo.

every so often, i feel like eva grows up in a big burst, as i sit there watching. yesterday morning was one of those times, and i swear she aged a month or so all while i sat on the lawn, speechless. as we arrived home, her HEB balloon flew out the car door before i could catch it. she proceeded to tell me a long story about it, animatedly combining signs and words and babbling to tell me: ball(oon), door, bye-bye, sky, all gone, ball. i'm ever amazed at her abilities to observe and react to her environment. then, as we sat outside (watching larry ferry in the groceries), she pointed out a variety of sounds. signing "i hear", she then identified a dog barking, cars driving past, an airplane overhead, and a train -- which she looked for but it never did drive past. all this while cruising up and down the sidewalk, looking at trees, flowers, the sky. she spied a metal butterfly i have in the front garden, signed for it, then said butterfly for the first time ("hur-shur-fly", three whole syllables, over and over).

the best part was that i had one of those fleeting opportunities to watch her really work something out. there's a three inch step outside our front door. when she first approached it, she stopped at the edge, and said "help. mama." and reached for my hand. she later walked back up the step, but with her hands along the brick wall of the house for stability. she quickly realized she coudn't get back down, so she looked to me, several yards away, for help. i told her she could do it, and after some unsure moments, she worked out to move nearer the wall and use that again. her little foot inched its way down slowly, and she made it. she rushed over to me for a big victory hug. she said "more" then again went up the step. this time, she fell on the way down, so the third time, she was cautious. i reminded her she could sit and go feet first, which made her feel better. but the next time she had regained her confidence and successfully went down standing. it's so fun to watch the learning process play out, where you can see all these thoughts running around behind her eyes.

so, in the course of about fifteen minutes, she grew. she told me her first big story, she showed me how much she knows about the sights and sounds in the world around her, blurted out her first long word, worked out a solution to a new problem, and lost and regained her confidence over a new skill. it felt like one of those movie scenes where the main character is sitting still and the world starts spinning, moving faster and faster while they just sit there dazed. i'm impressed with eva, but i'm also impressed with myself in that i seem to finally be getting the hang of living in the moment, at least from time to time. and off we go, once again, on our little paths which have converged for now.

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