Darling sweet little Lucybug. You turned a whole half-year old this weekend, and I didn’t get you anything. Well, I got you several issues of In Style Magazine that you edited thoroughly, and there is my bottle of saline solution you like to gnaw on, and then there was the spoon we stole from Goode Company in Houston, but there’s nothing on earth I could give you that compares to how rich you have made our lives.
I used to read sentences like the above and roll my eyes, but being a parent to you has reminded how myopic I have been for so much of my life. Shit, I used to hate wedding rings because I said they were a showy reminder of “ownership,” but if I were being honest, it was mostly because I felt so far away from being in love. When I saw parents doting on their kids, I immediately wanted to take a road trip to Calgary, Canada and do tequila shots on top of their Space Needle – presumably because becoming a father meant the end of all spontaneity.
Man, spontaneity can suck balls for all I care. It’s such a shoddy drug in comparison to the opiate you provide by even a half-smile. Is it possible to still rock and/or roll and have a kid? I don’t know, but watching things through your eyes easily provides the same amount of glee that the “Xanadu” soundtrack did for me in 1980, and that’s saying something.
We haven’t kept strict documentation of your development, certainly not the way my mom did, but we figure we can always go back and look at the pictures with their time stamps. It’s much more accurate now: when I was a kid, there would occasionally be “OCT 71” or something printed on the back of pictures, but that would be the date the images were processed, not when they were taken, and if you knew how long certain rolls of film languished at the bottom of my mom’s purse, you’d know how off-base those could be.
at 1 month (5/11/05), almost 3 months (7/1/05), and 6 months (10/14/05)
Here is where you are: as long as we’re not traveling, you go to sleep around 7:30pm, I “dream feed” you at midnight, and you wake up with your mom around 7:30am (or some variation therewith). You have 2-3 naps a day, and the longer they are, the happier you are, and the longer you sleep at night. Don’t ask me why this happens, it just does.
You are desperate to crawl, but can’t quite get it together. You like standing up almost as much as you like putting everything – including Chopes – into your mouth. We are going to start you on “solids” next week, but right now, there’s nothing you like better than a spoon, or the Mickey Mouse we got you at the Disney/ABC lot a few weeks ago. Something you find utterly fascinating: the way brown liquid called “coffee” seems to start in a cup, and then disappear into Mom and Dad’s face. You think this must surely be magic.
You’ve noticed that everyone else “talks,” so you are giving that a go, with varied success. You’ll stay quiet for hours, and then give us twenty solid minutes of what I can only guess to be Serbo-Croatian.
editing In Style Magazine
But mostly, you smile. All day long. To strangers, to family. You stop people on the street, you light up long lines, the entire country wants to talk to you. I’m suddenly understanding what it must have been like to sit at the cheerleader’s table in junior high school. Your belly-laughs, usually occurring in the car or while naked waiting for the bath, should be bottled and sold as an antidepressant.
Mostly, what I have learned from you is this: you are so willing to be happy. You find no solace in misery. When you are done being tired or hungry, your natural state is delight. Me, I used to cling to my cynicism, sarcasm and negativity like rotting wood barely afloat in the ocean. But you ask: what if our resting state was always on the verge of giggles? Obviously, my writing would be pathetically twee, but I think of the many seasons I wasted on my precious indignation, and wonder why you didn’t come along to pull me out of the water a little sooner, my little pumpkin pie spice.