Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Heartworm

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.

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.

18 comments:

DCD said...

So sweet! And I think very true for a lot of Dads - the beginning is kind of tough. I know desroc felt the same about the "baby-baby" stage for both our kids. Although there was also some terror thrown in with the first one.

Considering the wonderful relationship I have with my Dad, I'd say you are on the right track!

Laggin said...

I think that's how Car-man felt too, although he never put it into words. I do remember him saying once that he knew if I had to chose between saving her life and his, I would chose her. And if he were in the same spot, he would pick me.

My heart broke a little when he said it; but I couldn't deny it. And I didn't even know it until he said it.

There is a feral thing that takes over when you have kids. They become EVERYTHING. Maybe it doesn't happen instantly, but there is no denying it once it happens.

cIII said...

I agree. At first, you definitely feel like a Nun with a Dildo.

But, I think all that Worry and Fear and self-doubt is, actually, Love. All disguised and Afraid to say "Hi".

Good stuff, Miko.

Good, good, stuff.

DCD said...

"...feel like a Nun with a Dildo"

LMAO! Best line of the day.

rowan said...

omg, you are going to make me all weepy now...

miko564 said...

DCD- Yeah, terror was a lot of it with #1!

Laggin- It's funny that you put it that way.
The Swede and I talk about that now when we watch a movie and the hero has to choose between spouse and child. We always say the same thing, "Honey, I love you, but you'd be dead, no question." I bet Car-man would answer differently now!

Ciii- Argh! Now I can't get the image of 80-year-old Sister Mary Louise, defiling herself, out of my head! Make it stop!

You may be right, the love is SO big, we may hide it until we are ready to accept it. -OR- Babies are boring.

Rowan- Not my intent, but thanks...

-k said...

Right now - You are kind of my hero. For this post...and for defending me on mine! :)

Jamie said...

So sweet -
Thanks for a great post

Possibly Moving Mom said...

This post is so beautiful. Do you ever share your writing with your wife? You really have a gift, and I'm grateful that you share it.

miko564 said...

K- *Blushing* Thanks...
Thank God for Google, I had all the ammo I needed at my fingertips.

Jamie- Thanks. It's always weird to see my actual name in the comments section...

Possibly- Gift? I'm not sure I would go that far, but thanks.
Yeah, when I particularly like a post I ask her to read it. Sometimes she comes by on her own.

AC said...

miko, love the post. my uninformed guess is that the monkey needed to show a little enthusiasm and personality before you could bond with her. till then she was just generic baby. was your bonding experience different with scratch?

why is her pet name the monkey?

miko564 said...

AC- Uninformed my ass, Dr.

Yeah, that was just about exactly right, and without any experience with kids, I spent the first 3 months terrified I wasn't ever going "bond" with her.

Actually, it is my complaint with the "Daddy" books. There is very little discussion of the things I, and friends I've talked to, dealt with.
One book I read, very touchy-feely, said the main issue men deal with during pregnancy is fear something will happen to the baby...I call bullshit. Every man I know spent the pregnancy terrified they weren't financially ready for a child, afraid they wouldn't be able to support their new family.

I started calling her the Monkey, like 3 weeks in...no idea why...and soon my family and friends joined in.

Carolyn...Online said...

Oh that's so sweet. You're a big softy Miko. Who knew!

Scott fainted in the delivery room. I should write about that.

LilSass said...

Hey Mister, I am the one making sweeping generalizations over on Miss Picket's blog. So thanks for calling me out. Sweeping generalizations suck.

And it's so nice of you to 'babysit' your kids on the weekends. Haha, I hate when people say that.

Hats off to you!

miko564 said...

Lilsass- I said "baby-sit" to my wife once...once. She smacked me on the back of the head, and said. "It's not fucking babysitting when they're your kids!" Lesson learned.

Also, I guess you generated that specific "generalization" comment, but it had been running through my head for a while as I was reading all the post-election blog and listening to the pundits on TV. It IS so easy to separate ourselves from the demographic group we belong to, and then lump them all together once we subtract ourselves.

Thank you for stopping by my lil' blog!

steenky bee said...

You know, I never thought I could fall in love with someone, something in an instant, but the minute I layed eyes on my son, I fell in love. He and my daughter are both adopted. My son was one of two babies being bathed in the nursery as we watched him through the window. We weren't positive which baby was ours since the birthmom was getting cleaned up and all settled. But the strangest thing happened. I just couldn't take my eyes off the little loud one and I told my husband that I just knew that one on the right was ours. I didn't physically recognize him, but my heart certainly did.

miko564 said...

" I just couldn't take my eyes off the little loud one..."

Steenky- as touching as your comment was, the line above stood out to me.

As I read it, I thought, 'Yep, that would be me too, I would have been drawn to the loud one.'

anymommy said...

Lovely. And truthful. It's hard to find.