Saturday, June 7, 2008

I Feel Carbonated

Last time I posted about some of the woes of being a parent of an infant. Funnily, my mom called me not long after and asked me if I was doing alright. Which I am. I told her that I was fine and that I was just trying to be honest about what was going on. I added that I thought my experiences were probably not too out of the ordinary and that many new parents surely understood where I was coming from. She agreed, but added that most of them don't post their feelings on the internet. I had no argument. I guess I don't mind airing my dirty laundry.

So, in response to the many concerned and suspiciously encouraging responses (which I genuinely appreciated and probably needed), I have decided to post about a more positive element of my life as a new dad. Selah is beginning to smile.

I had a friend jokingly say that evolution taught babies to smile early so their parents wouldn't chuck them out. While that's a very crude way of saying it, I understand. Taking care of a baby that only communicates by crying gets old quick. So this is why I'm so ecstatic that Selah has begun to curl her beautiful lips up into a smile every now and again. Although, it's pretty cute when she sticks her lower lip out in a pout, too.

The other day I was changing her diaper in the morning and she was looking very content. Wiggling and kicking her legs, she then broke into this outrageous smile. Not a little grin, but she gave the kind of baby-smile where she is showing off her gums. And what happened next was so unexpected that I have been brewing on it for days. When she smiled at me, I transformed. It was liquid joy filling me like drink. If you'll allow a rather masculine guy to use this word, I felt sort of "bubbly."

Her joy was my joy. Her laughter transferred to me. I wanted to dance and spin and kiss her forever. As I leaned over her, I talked to her through my chuckles and my eyes even began to water. The sun was coming through the window just right and her eyes (which haven't decided what color they want to be) sparkled. It was like a Disney cartoon. At that moment, she was a princess. And through this experience I have learned two things: 1) what the joy of fatherhood truly means, and 2) that I'm in big trouble when she finally realizes what her smiles do to me. She could ask for Canada and I would spend the rest of my life scooping the country into my pockets.