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Monday, June 30, 2014

From Five to Fifteen.

My dad took us, as a family (plus my brother), to the local minor league baseball team Friday night.

It was the first time, to memory, that the kids had every been to an actual game. We've been to some events there -- things sponsored by the schools or whatnot -- and I do have the slightest whisper of a memory that we went when Kiedis was a baby, but it's also fully possible that I've imagined that.

After a week of rain, the heat with a lack of humidity was welcome, as was the breeze from the next storm taking it's time rolling in. My dad spoiled the kids, buying them candy and snacks and then tshirts and plush baseballs. I may have sponsored the rainbow ice cream in the miniature plastic batting helmets, I'm not sure. I kind of blacked out after inhaling a funnel cake.

Of course, in all of this, so many photos were taken. My dad is really bad about the sneak-attack photo -- the one where he just shoots quickly and without remorse ... and then he uploads them to Facebook with the same speed and lack of give-a-damn. This basically means there are a lot of blurry photos of my kids with me behind them, with my mouth hanging open because I'm talking or eating or just, you know, breathing. I wonder a lot about the people who only know me through his Facebook, about how they see this purple-haired daughter of his, mouth always agape, somehow a mother but also so very painfully not at all what I think a lot of them expect me to be.

But, I mean, my dad doesn't really present himself in the best light when he guest appears on my Facebook feed, either. *big deep feminist sigh*

Someone also commented recently that Tova looks just like him. And yeah, I see it. I've been saying she reminds me of my brother all along, who bears a strong resemblance to my dad, so it still all kind of makes sense, I guess. But I see Kyle in her too. And even occasionally, myself. That child is a magical hodgepodge of genetics that under the laws of science shouldn't work out at all, and yet. I feel, as I'm sure all parents do but then I feel it with my hyper-critical inner cynic too, so maybe not -- that she will be stunning as an adult. Like markedly so. I birthed straight magic with that baby, you guys. Straight magic.

But briefly, at the baseball game that the home team was losing, sitting among a bunch of scouts (which was also very strange and I kept feeling like I was in a movie or something because what?) and with my kids besides themselves hyped up on sugar and being in the presence of their Grandpa and their Uncle whom they both adore, my dad snapped some pictures, albeit still blurry, of the kids.

It's rare that a photo of Kiedis steals my breath. Maybe it's because I've been taking photos of him longer, or because he is just such a miniature version of me that I feel like I'm just looking at myself as a child again (but, you know, male), or even ghosts of that stunted connection we had those first few months, but nevertheless, my dad sent me this singular photo and everything in my head stopped with a screech not until a record coming to a halt.
He was showing how "big and stwong" he is, but all I can see is a 15 year old boy looking into that camera back out at the world. I see the beautiful pout of his lips (where did he get THAT?) and the slightest hint of a jawline that will someday square stunningly. I see in the blur of his eyes the impossible green that two brown-eyed parents managed to gift him, and all of that hair tousled just so in a way that will be irresistible someday.

And, if I suspend disbelief and reality for just a moment, I see how girls and/or boys will melt over him, and how carefully I have to raise him so that he will not take advantage of that and the gifts that our genetics gave him.

People tell me quite often that I have beautiful children. And I know this, to a point -- Kyle and I are both slightly above average in the looks department, if I'm going to be brutally honest -- but I am constantly surprised by how striking these children are when I least expect it.

And this little peek into the future, or the potential for it, just blows me away.