Yesterday you wowed me with all you have learned from your swimming lessons. I was not prepared to watch you go flying off the diving board time and again as you mimicked the crazy twisty jumps and cannon balls of your brothers and even pulled off an actual dive or three.
I stood there in the sun in all of my middle-aged, post-isolation weight gain and forgot all about being self-conscious as I watched you and the band of brothers perform leaps and belly flops and other shenanigans.
My breath was held tight with each spring off the board and watching you navigate the water as you held your nose off and on and made your way to the side of the pool. Then I would go and stand some more and wave to you as you climbed a ridiculous amount of stairs to the water slides.
Down you would come, again a thumbs up before you entered the water and still…I would hold my breath till you were all the way to the steps and out to do it again.
And every time, every feat, you called out repeatedly for me to watch you.
But Caroline, don’t you know?
I never am not watching you or those brothers of yours.
Ever since I saw a sonogram across the table of a Monical’s restaurant that was the very first days your beloved oldest brother, I have been watching.
I see you when I am not with you.
I cherish every photo your mommy and daddy send me when I can’t be there.
Your moments of every day life and big events are packed together tightly with the first three children I have never stopped watching.
I love your accomplishments, but I see your heartaches, too.
Sweet Caroline, that is what love is.
It sees, and holds and feels for the object of its love.
And your Lola is not so wonderful to love you this way.
We love as God first loved us.
We are simply His hands and feet and heart on this earth.
He is watching you with love. More perfect love than any of us around you can muster.
He made Lola and you and everyone else in His image and gave us just a tiny glimpse of His love for us as we love others.
So yes, little one, Lola is watching.
Lola is cheering you on and is (among others who also love you so very dearly) 100% for you and for those boys who have ceased to ask me to watch them and yet would be sorely disappointed if I wasn’t.
So carry on with all that is possible for you to do….and you will find me, as long as I have breath in me, attentively positioned on the sidelines….watching.