When Jackie hands Griffin over to me after he falls asleep and she goes off to take care of some of her mama duties like breast feed, feed herself, bathe, study, search the internet endlessly for information on what she might think is wrong with him, I secretly hope that he wakes up in my arms, opens his eyes, and sees me first.
What I learned today about being a father:
I could sit for hours with my little guy and watch his little chest move up and down as he breathes in his sleep. I get goo-goo when he is dreaming, and then suddenly his little arms shoot up and over his head and then they slowly descend back down by his sides, his hands resting peacefully on his bulging belly. He’s growing, I can tell and the doctor said so and when I see his now pudgy fingers I waive Jackie over quietly just to point them out. “Here here here, you’ve got to see these things.(!)” She runs over on tip-toes and looks at what I’m holding up, his fingers gripping my pinky, and shakes her head at me.
“Can you believe that little wonder was in my belly?”
She says it with inspiration, amazement, awe, and pats her tummy and goes back to doing whatever mamas do. I grin daddy proud, and slowly one eye pops open, Griffin’s right eye, and his pupil moves around to see what’s going on. He doesn’t open his left eye, not yet at least, but it’s at this point, when he first wakes up, that he is always smiling, and it’s daddy’s turn for babyface time.
What I think I know:
Children are a wonder, and it’s amazing what women have to go through to get them here. I wanted to share that moment today because it was a first for me to experience what Jackie calls ‘Babyface Time.’ I have had the luxury of witnessing many handfuls of time when she has woken him from his sleep, but it was a first for it actually happening to me. He doesn’t like me as much, I can tell by the scowls and way his eyes crease and his brow raises and lowers, but in that moment I feel like I get it, whatever it is.
I started writing a long time ago on accident, just pros and anecdotes about my life and my thoughts and I moved on to other things like fiction and screenplays (all for personal use of course) and in everything I do I write about the it in life that defines us. I don’t know what it is, but I feel like I’ve been searching for it, researching it through the various religions and texts and stories and movies for a long, long time. I’ve spent so much of my life breaking down and discussing with people the in’s and out’s of destiny and nature, the ideals of philosophers, theologians, naturalists and my dog Archie, that I failed at the time to realize one thing; I’ve never done anything as significant before as being daddy.
I could talk all I want to about life but never really know anything about it until I was a part in creating it. Babyface time, looking into Griffin’s eyes and thinking about all the world that I have to offer him, made it pretty clear, but I don’t know how to explain it other than with the moment when he opened his one eye, his right eye, and he looked right into me and smiled.
And like so many others before her I took an hour of Jackie’s time trying to explain to her the feelings and the emotions and the clarity involved in the simple look that Griffin exposed me to listened with as much might as she could before she readily put my insights and pontificating into simple terms that being daddy made me understand, “He probably just shat in his pants.”
As usual, she was correct.