Through his eyes

If I am completely honest I have to say that I was never really excited about having a baby. I wanted a kid. I wanted a five year old to splash in puddles with. I wanted a 12 year old to take on hikes. I wanted to explore Europe on bikes with our 15 year old. But to get to 5, or 12, or 15, you have to go through these strange years when he drools and babbles and his biggest accomplishment is a pampers-filling poop in the afternoon. Some women are excited by this helpless, adorable stage. Me? Not so much. I thought it would be something I would have to endure in order to get to the good stuff.

I have been pleasantly surprised to learn that right from the beginning there is plenty of, “good stuff.” No waiting or enduring is actually required. There is much I can learn about life simply by watching him learn what life is. I love that there are absolutely no social pressures shaping him yet. his emotions seem pure and full. When he is happy he smiles with his full face, gurgles a bit, and flails his arms around. I am not sure which I am more jealous over, that he can be thrilled by something as simple as his daddy’s kiss, or that he has no shame in expressing that excitement. In fact, he couldn’t contain his emotions if he did have shame. When he is upset he pouts and cries and isn’t afraid to scream. When did I learn that I had to suck up my anger and fear to protect others from experiencing a negative emotion?

My absolute favorite though (besides the cooing- I LOVE the cooing) is when he looks around, calmly assessing the world. He most often does this while breastfeeding. He looks up at me with those huge blue eyes, and I am shocked by what I see. He is a complete little person with thoughts and emotions. He only lacks a way to express them. I always thought that intelligence was something that we acquired with time. It grew as our language grew. However, looking at him, I see that intelligence is something we are born with. If anything, perhaps we lose our understanding of the world and our ability to process so many different experiences as we go through the process of socialization and formal education. Babies are definitely not stupid.

Peatuk has started having nightmares. They break my heart. While he is sleeping he will start screaming as if he is in pain. It is a sound he never makes when he is awake. I hold him while he wakes up and reorients himself and soon enough he is suckling and cooing again. There are two theories floating around the internet as to what causes these nightmares. The first is that he is learning too much and so has a lot to process at night. The second is that he is processing a traumatic event such as his birth or something as simple as being left to cry in his crib for a minute or two. Sometimes I think he is dreaming about his past lives, finishing processing whatever it was he last experienced. Whatever causes these nightmares, I can definitely relate. I remember the nightmares of my childhood. I remember the intensity of my teenage night terrors. Part of me is apologetic for pulling him into this world filled with confusion and pain. Another part of me is a little bit jealous that everything is so new and overwhelming for him. No wonder he is thrilled.

Having a baby is definitely not as bad as I expected it to be. Sure, I am still excited for him to start walking and talking, but now I am just a little bit sad that he will grow up and one day he wont stare, unblinking, into my eyes for countless minutes. Oh, may he never lower his eyes with embarrassment!

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