Funny how there is so much anticipation, stress, and anxiety when it comes to having children. And yet there are these defining moments that seem so short that make you sit back and go “That’s why”.
You go through what Don dubbed “the gestational period of an elephant” (thanks for that by the way) and can’t wait to meet this life you have created and loved sight unseen. Some parts are wonderful, but some parts blow. Then you go through labour, and just when you think you want to die, they place him on your chest and you have your first moment.
The one where you exhale, and in that second, you know why you were so willing to suffer all those hours. The one where your life is so wonderfully changed and you can’t imagine not being willing to do it all again if you get this moment again. It gives you the right perspective to become a parent.
And then you endure the first weeks of getting to know your child and trying to figure out what they need, and how they need it. They cry. You cry. You wonder why on earth you did this to your life. You neglect your other child. You feel guilty.
Because you love them.
And then it happens. Just when you think there can’t possibly be a payoff to all of this, it happens. You have another moment.
You look down at your awake and content infant, and he looks back at you. And he genuinely recognizes your face, your voice and your touch. And it makes him happy. Not quelled from his current discomfort or need, but happy. He looks right at you, and smiles that big, toothless, gummy baby smile, and you forgive all the sleep deprivation and stress and remember what it is to be loved back by your child.
And you want the moment to last forever.