It's never enough time.
I love the smattering of freckles on one nose. The birthmark on an ankle. The cross face. The fragility of a neck in pigtails. The pigeon toes. The scuffed knees. The sleeping cheek. So many small things that are wondrous. And fleeting. My daughters don't even keep still in their sleep so the vast number of their expressions are brief glimpses into fierce, busy minds - glimpsed and gone before I can imprint them permanently into my chaotic memory.
It's agreed by most that the elder is the spitting image of me, and the younger of her Daddy. I see it in their eyes - both are big eyed but in different ways which are definitely attributable to two sets of genetic inputs. Their faces are very similar otherwise though - just in different sizes. Both are very beautiful and I will never tire of kissing them, holding their little bodies in my arms, willing them to understand how much they are, and always will be, loved. More than anything - I never ever want them to doubt that.
Perhaps the elder is similar to me, but my view of my own face is not favourable and I think it unlikely that I will ever see the flaws in her face that I see in my own. To see your own face reflected in another is the gift of the confident and secure and I know that what I seek to see in my daughters' faces is a self confidence that has always eluded me.
I look at their chubby cheeked faces, smeared with snot, chalk and dirt and there isn't a jot of self consciousness - they are completely absorbed in what they are doing, not how they are looking or how they are perceived by others.
So when it comes to nature versus nurture, I'm behind nature. I don't believe anybody can claim responsibility for the wonder of a small child, the development of distinct personalities and small passions writ large on backyards. I want them to grow into the people they want to be, not the people I wanted to be. And nature has done such an awesome job with them so far, I see no reason to intervene.
Unless they don't grow out of this public nudity phase. That could get SO awkward come school time.