This was originally written on Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Today, I fell in love with my son.
I was changing his diaper while Jules was downstairs putting away the new Tupperware set she bought me and making us a late dinner. I pondered the oddity of my pleasure over the plastic-ware while I tossed the soiled diaper into the hamper and laid the diaper cover over the end of the changing table. I guess I’m officially the homemaker now. I flipped on some lullaby Led Zeppelin while I stuffed him into his zip up sleeper, which he seems to be already outgrowing. Next thing you know, I was balling my eyes out and blowing my nose into a cloth baby wipe. We had both been experiencing so much anxiety and frustration over the first two days of this great Stay At Home Dad Experiment, that all it took was one of his glorious open mouth smiles to put it all in perspective and put me over the edge. It’s been quite the few days, to say the least.
I had pretty much been either working, packing, driving to Omaha, unpacking, or playing second fiddle to Momma Jules for the past three plus months, but now I’ve made it halfway through my first week at the baby helm, and I’m relatively unscathed. Sure, the naps aren’t really happening, so I’m barely eating, not really exercising, and I sure as hell haven’t been showering, brushing my teeth, or getting dressed until most people are heading home for dinner and calling it a day. By that time, it’s not even worth doing, but it helps to make me feel normal at least for an hour or so before I have to try to steal a few hours of sleep for myself. I feel like I’m being very unsuccessful as a person, but it’s not about me at this point, and I’m slowly realizing that, as hard as it may be. It’s really just about making sure everything is cool with the little man. I think it will be good for me to have to think about someone else all the time instead.
So there I was, bonding with my half naked three month old son, singing a variation on a Notorious BIG song I like to call “Big Poopa,” while fastening the snaps on a fresh diaper cover. Suddenly he unleashed this amazingly wide mouthed smile while looking up at me and grabbing for my beard. I dodged his grasp and he let out the tiniest little giggle. That was it. I lost it. Joyous tears ran down my face while the subtle lullaby version of Zep’s “Thank You” flowed out of the CD Clock radio on his makeshift nightstand. Despite my slight embarrassment, I just let them roll, allowing myself to experience the moment as it was; my son, laughing at me crying at him. I was completely overwhelmed, I was totally smitten, and I’ll never forget it for the rest of my life.