Whose Baby Are You?

Searching through my younger daughter’s baby pictures the other day, gathering a handful of images for her sixth-grade graduation ceremony, I sometimes wondered, is this her? Or her sister? Once upon a time, I couldn’t believe parents might confuse their children’s baby photos; now I join those ranks of beleaguered – and, admit it, lame –parents.

In her face now, I see her woman’s visage emerging: my brown eyes, her father’s thin shape. As a writer, I’m trained to note specifics, like the way she regularly trims her own bangs these days. But details are only bits of her story, keyholes for my curious eyes.

These early wet May days, wildflowers bloom profusely – trilliums, bellflowers, spring beauties, Dutchman’s breeches – each day seemingly a new variation, every stalk and petal one tiny voice in the overall chorus of spring. The symphony rages mightily. So, too, with my daughter, in this spring.

I find myself listening to the symphony-in-the-creation of her.

In writing, you can always change the ending or delete a chapter that isn’t working. Life is uncooperative, impartial, incontestable.

Ariel Levy, The Rules Do Not Apply

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