Monday, September 24, 2012

Who's Next?

This is Isabel seven and a half years ago. This picture was taken by our beloved and amazing photographer friend, Jason Schmidt. Only a few days old, it was Isabel's first official portrait. I remember Mike and I gazing at Isabel with our best friends, Cory and Jason- in awe and puzzlement,. There was an overall WOW-ness about the arrival of this new tiny person into our lives. Swaddled tightly like a little burrito, sleeping in the window-seat on 10th St. next to all the pretty flowers from well wishers. It is a timeless image. Beautiful and slightly eerie in its stillness. It's an image of real-life pause. Without totally understanding how such a little being could already be such a force, we all knew we were embarking on a new chapter. A chapter involving us and kids. Little people we create, that turn out to be really interesting people, who wield the strongest love we have ever known.  The craziest thing I realize now, is that they really do come out their own people from the minute they are born.  After only a few days of knowing her, I didn't really get that Isabel was Isabel already. But now, seven years later, I do. Below, is another beautiful portrait of Isabel taken earlier this year. Again, by her "official photographer", Jason. (Lucky girl, right?!)

No longer a tiny person, or anything even close to a baby, she is a big girl now with stories to tell and memories ingrained. Isabel came out a mellow observer, an old soul that is open to the world around her with a loving and sensitive (and willful) heart.  Her eyes are deep and empathetic, and her edge is humorous and goofy. I love who she is, and yet, am amazed at who she continues to become.  It's an evolution like time-lapse photography that unfolds before your eyes. So quickly at times, it's easy to miss and certainly hard to understand and guide.  But, as parents, we try to do our best to keep up and let our little people BE who they already are. All while giving them the boundaries and tools they need to feel safe as they navigate a path to realize their best selves.  It's never exactly easy to do, but so incredibly important to have this be the general goal.
So? Well. Any day now, we are going to have another baby. Another girl.  WHO on earth is THIS girl going to BE??! I wonder. I am beyond curious. No doubt very different than Isabel. Will she have red hair and pale skin? Wouldn't that be funny? Hard to imagine this new love of ours, but how cool to now have the reference of Isabel to know it will be amazing all over again. Judging by the way this baby is kicking me now, it's possible we'll have a real firecracker on our hands. Maybe a little devil child. Whatever the case, we are very excited to meet her. I trust we're better equipped to roll with the punches the second time around. And thankfully, big sister Isabel will be another set of very capable hands on deck to help.

Here, Isabel leans on my big belly, aka, her future little sister. 
May The Force be with us.