Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Eyes of a Toddler

The eyes. Windows to the soul. They are revealers of secrets, and divulgers of desires. Absorbers of beauty, expellers of truth. But so much more. The eyes of toddlers are so. much. more.

It is the look in her eyes that warns you seconds before she intentionally tips over a bowl of soup. A beautiful gaze that signals: "cancel all phone calls and trips to the bathroom for the next 38 minutes, I will be screaming maniacally." With a bat of the lashes, you know. You just know that accidentally breaking her Magnatiles tower was an act of war, and you will either spend the rest of the afternoon bowing to her wishes or you will have no rest of the afternoon. With one glance you're informed that she will not be letting go of your shirt, whether you're flashing the entire congregation or not.

It is those same eyes that automatically switch from panic to relief as she seeks you out in a crowded room. In them you see gratitude for building the Magnatiles tower with her inside, forgiveness for handling the soup situation with less patience (and more volume) than necessary, and some remaining maniac as she winds down from the tantrum. Pure sincerity as she asks you for just one more cookie. And that same look as she requests another one. With a hint of mischief in her eyes, she selects the longest book for bedtime reading, with a look of boundless excitement she hides in the usual hiding spot. It is not just with powerlessness that she begs you to avoid entering her room (for more time to smear diaper cream everywhere, you suspect); it is also with deep comfort. Pure, simple love, as she prepares you for her strongest bedtime hug. And determination, hours later, as those gorgeous eyes of your sweet child remain open, in bed, at midnight.

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