Monday, April 26, 2010


Now that our girl A is about to celebrate her three-week birthday, I feel like I am surfacing once again to look around and take a breath. I haven't been blogging in the last few weeks -- haven't been doing much of anything, really. Not a lot of emails going in or out, not writing anything, not a lot of phone calls or Facebook stuff, not even finishing The New Yorker. I haven't been on the subway in a week, since we rarely leave the neighborhood these days. Our universe only extends as far south as 110th street, as far west as Riverside Park. As far north as Duane Reade. As far east as Central Park.

These are not complaints, though. Ever since A arrived we have enjoyed this insular period as a time to recalibrate our ideas of love and family, and to welcome somebody new into the most basic unit of who L and I are and how we live. It's been so pleasant, and so simple, to think of little more than L and A. Ever since A came home everything else in the world has felt distanced and glazed over.  Stories in the news, reality TV exploits, pressing articles on issues I should care about, all seem relatively weightless when compared with the reality of this miraculous baby we've got on our hands.

So far I am really enjoying having A around. She is getting on a nice three-hour cycle of feeding, hanging out, and sleeping. Her arm movements are spastic yet endearing. Her eyes are full and alert now, she is gaining some plumpness in her limbs and belly, and she is working so hard to lift her big old head to take everything in. She settles easily with the pacifier (usually) and she can spend hours lying on your chest or in your arms, as long as her own hands and arms are free to flail about in whatever way her blazing little brain commands. In the mornings she is so calm and lovely. And today she pooped on my shirt for the first time. That was a funny moment, almost as funny as earlier today when L managed to drop an entire container of grapes on the living room floor, forcing us to shove the furniture around to retrieve all the gnarly, dirt-crusted grapes, now looking like unappetizing truffles, from under the couch.

Anyways, before A was born I was curious about how I would feel about her: Is it love at first sight? Does the floor drop out from under you? Like the rest of this experience, it hasn't been nearly as dramatic or sudden. Instead, it felt more like this new paternal love arrived full and complete at the same moment she did, that I turned around one moment and found that my life had a new foundation, solid and impenetrable. There was a new given, a new creed: love my wife, love my daughter. The idea of loving A was as obvious and undeniable as the fact of her own existence.

1 comment:

Cindy said...

It was great reading an expression of new love from a father experiencing his newborn girl for the first few weeks. Rarely do males express their emotions on anything, let alone their their baby.
Thank you!