Sometimes, watching my girls, I'm astounded at how grown-up they are. They look exactly the same for what seems like months on end, and then one morning when they drag their sleepy selves to the breakfast table, they've changed. Subtly, but unmistakeably. One or the other looks older somehow, more mature. Losing the roundness of the little girl faces, the excitement of the little girl voices, and gaining the height, the stretch, the angularity of older girls, the ennui and disdain for things, like Dora, that once they adored.
I get glimpses, flashes, of the teenagers and women they'll become -- Rachel sitting on the couch with her legs crossed, twirling her hair while she finalizes details for a playdate with her friend Kate over the phone, saying "Yes, that works" to Kate's suggestions. Leah and her friends Alice and Ellie breaking character in their make-believe game to gossip about a classmate in trouble for flipping off a teacher. I have no trouble imagining these three in the future sitting around a pub table with beer or wine in front of them, bending their heads together and laughing in the same way that they're now doing over strawberry-kiwi Fruitopia and chips.
But some things don't entirely change. Some things still echo the past and bring to mind the little girls they once were, though those things are fleeting and don't happen often.
Leah was watching TV the other day in a pose I remember from the past. I snapped a picture:
And then I went to the photo albums. The year that Rachel was born, Leah was two, nearly three, by the time Rae arrived. She liked to watch TV on the floor. I opened the album and took out the remembered photo, and snapped a picture of it:
It's nice to know that some things haven't changed.