She changes every day.

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I write this at the risk of my mother being even more eager to see Mariel than she already is (it’s only 18 more days, Mom), but she changes every day.

We’re with her all the time, but I’m still thrown every time I notice something different, something new.

“Mira sus cejas y pestanas,” Francisco told me last night. Her eyebrows and eyelashes, the latter already longer than my own. This time last week, she only had hints of eyebrows. This week, they’re light charcoal arcs sitting like upended parentheses over her big brown eyes.

And those eyes… they produce tears! During her first week of life, Mariel’s left eye closed up, her tear duct not yet fully operational. Now, I occasionally notice a tear escaping from her eyes if she’s hungry or tired and just can’t take it anymore. I mean, I’d rather have tears than a goopy eye, but still. A child’s tears can kill a mom, I’m telling you.

When she was born, her fingernails were tissue paper thin. Sounds gross, maybe, but I chewed their tips off because she was scratching her face. They were too delicate for clippers or a file. Now they’re like your nails or mine- tinier, of course, but more durable.

She makes sounds, her skin is still soft but not the buttery texture of her newborn self, and she can hold one of her rattles… kinda.

One thing hasn’t changed: she’s the sweetest, absolutely perfect bebita and every single time I look at her–which is about 20 hours out of every day–I am just blown away by how much of a miracle life is.

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