It happens less now, probably because as they talk I am frantically attempting to accomplish something in addition to listening—do the dishes, respond to an email, pee. I don’t always take the magic they utter and preserve it here by primal necessity. I used to live nearly every moment of my life with, “I’m going to blog this,” on the tip of my tongue. That’s changed, now I look to my computer wistfully, not that I’d change these moments, because I wouldn’t, you know, except for the inability to curse, pee or do anything else in privacy, and think about the hours I used to spend writing.

I ache to chronicle these moments, but it’s more important to live them. This isn’t a judgement, it is a reality for me. Three girls, three ever-more-magnificent personalities that challenge, stretch and grow every part of who I am. Today it was sprinting down a powdery hill ahead of a toboggan in order to let them sled properly and then bounding back up the hill. Earlier it had been puzzles on the floor with legs wide open and fingers pointing and wit whipping to keep up. They measure the hours that I work and ask at times if I have “earned enough money” to just stay home for a mom day. I take it with a grain of salt and explain how energized I feel after using my talents to solve problems.

Tonight the girls were tearing around the house, the sniffles, tummy aches and general malaise of the last, oh, four months, were gone. They were singing, dancing, spinning and getting along in the way that I know will become what I reflect on as I my days grow short—affirmation that three was our number and an acknowledgement that for however many mistakes we may have made along the way, we did something right. It was, in one enormous, misty-eyed-sigh, perfect. I heard Finley say something that took me back to the height of writing it all down.

“I have to get back to me.”

It was such an odd thing to say and yet, exactly one of those things that would be so obviously shoe-horned in to some cheesey movie. It kept ringing in my ears, “I have to get back to me.” A thousand emotions washed over me, the first and most powerful was, “Please let her always consider herself.” The next one made me stop, “Let each of them have the presence of mind to honor themselves enough to be able to think that their is a self that needs getting to.” I am in an uncharacteristically aware of myself time. Tired of being disappointed, hurt or angry, I’ve begun biting my tongue.

Rather than starting a conversation with a negative trigger I bite them back and wait until I have something good to say. Instead of lamenting that i don’t have time to get ready, I excuse myself in the morning to dry my hair. This is huge, it just hasn’t always been the case. There are things I could be doing better, more time I could be allowing myself, but in general I am with me. I hope that it is imprinting on the girls. I hope that the fact that my littlest Fin uttered those words is testament to a self-awareness she is developing.

As I look toward 2011 I realize that with each month our girls will become more  potently (and defiantly) who they are. This will be a year of building selves and it is my deepest hope that they will be strong, thoughtful, tender and full of hope.

Are you with you?

Do you need to get back to you?

Do your kids/spouse/friends/family know that there is a you, a genuine, deserving you?