Childbirth may be awash in fluids, but it’s hardly a day at the spa. Still, once the baby arrives, many moms report experiencing a flood of love unlike anything they’ve felt before, an ecstasy so powerful it transforms them forever. I expected that the first time I gazed on my baby, it would trigger a buzz halfway between the infatuation of first love and the full blast of orgasm.
But when I finally got to hold Babydude for the first time, it wasn’t a love explosion so much as a relief. Maybe it’s because his birth was chemically induced, and much harder than I expected, or maybe my body just doesn’t crave the grand dramatic moments my imagination desires. Whatever the reason, our first moments together were marked by exhaustion and gratitude, and a simple, quiet love. I was glad he was alive, I was glad I was alive, and there just wasn’t the energy for anything more complicated than that.
I often reflect on a comment accredited to Angelina Jolie. She attracted a lot of flak when she agreed with a reporter that newborns are like blobs, but I don’t think it’s an unreasonable idea. Sure, Babydude had my attention from the get-go, but what started as a gentle love has grown exponentially, grown as Babydude has developed from helpless newborn to inquisitive baby.
An 8-month-old brings a poet’s insight to everyday experiences, and his curiosity for the world helps me see it fresh. Like William Blake, Babydude sees the world in a grain of sand, heaven in a wildflower. Everything fascinates him, and he examines cookie tins, socks, and pens with a zest most adults reserve for romance or real estate.
Now when I look at him, it’s all I can do to restrain myself from licking him. I’m not kidding. He is just that delectable. I want to snuggle him while he’s awake, and stroke his cheeks when he’s asleep. If I could fill every place I visit with the melody of his laughter, I would. He is the loveliest person I have ever met, and I adore him – not just because he’s my baby – but, more importantly, because he’s himself.
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