It's an odd feeling, being a parent. So frequently, in the first couple of months, all The Boy really and truly wants is attention: a smile from Daddy, or to be picked up, or just held, or just have a finger to squeeze. All of this "power" and responsibility is a little bit daunting, when you think about it. I mean, who the heck am I, to be the person in charge of this life?
This morning, The Boy was having a good old time, bouncing in his chair - as he is wont to do. (This was, natch, after he spent all night fussing at his Furry Cousins' house, staying awake until 1AM and screaming for a good chunk of the morning. Cie la vie.) He had a good head of steam built up and was just enjoying himself.
Yet, every time I looked over at him, he was staring at me. I looked at him and smiled, and he smiled that gorgeous, toothless smile that is so endearing and beautiful. He kicked harder, to show Daddy that he was having fun. I'd look away, then look back and smile, and he's smile broadly again at me. For about twenty minutes, he was looking at nothing but me, wanting only a smile and a touch.
You'd not think that that's daunting. Yet, it is. What's the catch?
The answer to that is obvious. The catch is the sleepless nights, the immense amounts of time invested, the money spent on clothes and toys that are used for a week and then outgrown... not to mention the wonderful attitudes displayed by teenagers, and then knowing you're sending your kid to college, where he's going to get drunk, just like you used to do, and do all of the same stupid things that you did. Back to the story.
The price is much less than the emotional profit, of course, It's immensely rewarding for me to be home with him. Granted, I don't know if it'll be that way at the end of the summer, when I'm sick to death of the house; but, right now, it's great. I'm looking forward to his first Christmas & his first Channukah (even though he'll remember neither and understand less), and you can bet your sweet bippy that I'm going to get a picture with Santa Claus.
It's just weird, that so much of parenting is so simple. A glance, some spoken words and some attention is all that is required. The trick is remembering to do it often enough...