Ciii, over at The Goat and Tater wrote this yesterday. It's maybe the most touching post, remembering the birth of a child, I have ever read. I really dig the way this guy writes. I've been thinking about it all day, and contrasting his experience to mine and the way The Monkey took over my life...
Ciii wrote that he was in love the moment he saw his daughter. Me, not so much. I had never been around babies before, and I remember the moment the doctors and nurses left The Swede and me alone with our new baby for the first time. I thought they had made a mistake...did they know they had left this little human behind with us?! We had entered the hospital 10 hours before, with some of the stuff we needed for a baby, but damn, we didn't come in parents! What made them think we were capable of being parents now?
Babies don't do much...they don't smile, or laugh, right away. They're hard to have a good talk with...and what's up with the whole "hold the head" thing? Even a puppy or kitten isn't so helpless it needs someone to help it not damage it's little spine when it's head falls forward or back. So for a while...I wondered.
Had I made a mistake? Maybe I didn't like kids, even my own...this wasn't the best time to be figuring this out, I was scared. What if I didn't grow fonder of her? What if I never developed the feelings for her that The Swede seemed to have the instant they met? Why couldn't I smell that scent the Swede did, every time she smelled her little head?
Then little things changed... Instead of her screaming the moment her mother passed her to me, she began to tuck her head into my neck, and hold on with her little hands. She began to smile at me, and laugh. She would laugh at my funny faces, and the stuffed animal "shows" I would put on for her. Oh, that laugh. Like the Grinch, my heart grew three sizes every time she laughed, the deep baby belly laugh. Like Miracle-Gro for my love.
We started to go out together...everywhere. I would take her to the store, to get videos, to get gas...we were suddenly inseparable, I didn't want to be anywhere without her. We would listen to music in the car and she would "dance", bouncing up and down and back and forth with the beat. I would reach back, behind my seat, and grab her little feet...again, the laugh, punctuated with squeals.
We would "talk". I would mimic her little noises, and she would repeat them, smiling as I played Mockingbird to her sounds.
She'd done it. She had answered my questions. Hell, she answered questions I hadn't thought to ask, about everything...every mistake I had made in my life, every turn I had taken...led me to her.
I've told everyone I know, that having a child is like wiping the "slate of life" clean.
You get to be anything you want to see reflected back in those eyes. She doesn't care what kind of man I was in my 20's, the paths I started down that led the wrong way. She only sees who I am today, and will remember me for who I become in the future.
So I didn't fall in love with my Monkey at first sight...no, she wormed her way into my heart, and made it her own. People like to say that little girls wrap their Daddy's around their fingers, but you want to know the truth? We're like pythons, we wrap ourselves around their little fingers, and hold on with all the strength we can muster.
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