Last week I realized it had been a long time since I'd really looked into my children's faces.
I mean, really looked.
It was during a General Conference message by Jean A. Stevens who mentioned really looking into our children's faces and seeing them as they are and will become. Certainly I look at my children all day long. I look at them when they need me, when I feed them, bathe them and put them to bed. (Though not enough for their liking--they both have easily picked up the skill of turning my chin so I will look at them when they want my attention.)
But really soaked in their faces, their spirits? It had been awhile.
This week both of my babies were sick. There was nothing to be done but hold their hot, sweaty bodies--victims of actual spring fevers and massage their little feet (we call massages "nice" in our family, The Chief says, "Mom, I want nice.") Because they weren't moving at nearly the speed of which they normally function I could actually sit and look in their faces, examine their limbs and feel their souls.
And for the first time I noticed the tone of Ever's eyes--they are like the color of a cherry chocolate cake. And how her nest of feather hair is starting to curl softly in the back. She has a triangle birthmark, so very slight on her lower leg and speaking of those legs, they are growing long like Daddy's. And she's a sweetheart--a content little human with a strong helping of independence and an adoration for her father.
All of these discoveries surprised me, but none so much as the moment when I rocked my shivering, tired daughter in the rocking chair. Her fast breathing slowed down until deep gusts were coming out of her open mouth. She was asleep, finally. I rocked her for a bit longer before I attempted transitioning her into the crib. Only before I could stand, she awoke and sat suddenly straight up in my lap. For an intense second, she looked straight into my eyes as if she was remembering me. Without changing her fixated gaze, she then unraveled a hand out of her silky blanket and sweetly pinched my cheek like a Grandma to her offspring.
Then she turned her head and resumed heavy sleeping on my chest.
I need to look into my children's faces so they can see mine looking back at them. In that tiny second of non-verbal contact a massive impact of love is transmitted. I've never felt anything like it.