....but it was only two years. This picture captured an innocence. An innocence that I always hoped my children would have, but the passage of time - and the fact that we are human - keeps innocence at bay.
Still, as her momma I see her with my heart, not my eyes, and even two years later, this is still how she looks to me.
And these two.....well, they have my heart also.
Instead of seeing hair that looks like Steven cut it himself.....hair that never sees the light of day because of the constant wearing of a cowboy hat, I see a man.
A very good man.
A man that loves his children more than life itself. A man who loves me. A man that loves my sister, as if she was his.
My sister requested for him to not wear his hat, during the wedding, and he obliged. This is the only time that I have ever seen Steven in public without his hat.
We have been together for 18 years.
That is a lot of love he has for her.
(Heck, he wore his hat at our wedding.)
I also see a boy. A boy that loves his daddy (and his momma). A baby in transition. In some ways he was so much a baby and in others he was already a tough little boy.
My heart aches. I wish there were a way to return to that time. A way to return, without giving up all times we have had since then, too.
Isn't that like having your cake and eating it too?
It doesn't - and can't - happen.
And so I remember. And I ache. And I smile. And I think of how blessed I am.
And, again, I remember.