I haven't written lately on my feelings about parenting Lorenzo, but have many moments that I wanted to capture.
It is sometimes hard when people ask me how he is. Often I hear, "What's he doing now?", as in what's he up to developmentally. I know that it's important for people to know what developmental milestones he's hitting, but for me the important thing has been, "Did he have fun today? Did he laugh a lot today?". It's so important for me to know that he feels loved and provided for. Those other things will come.
In fact, some of those things are coming quickly -- cutting teeth, hand-eye coordination, balance for walking -- but with each child that we meet, we discover that development of the various skills happens at such varied speed that the range of normal seems very wide. One child is mastering shape sorting, another walking. Each takes his or her own course and learns in their own time.
The things that I will remember from this special time in Lorenzo's life will probably not be the physical and developmental milestones. What I remember frequently are his smiles and laughs because they were his first communications of comfort and happiness. I remember his newborn cries because he needed something and we had to figure out how to provide it for him. Just as I remembered these first efforts of communication with us in those early weeks, I am now experiencing a whole new range of communication with Lorenzo. And it's wonderful.
For some time Lorenzo has been walking around balancing on Robin or me. As soon as he could get his body up on his legs this has been the preferred mode of movement over crawling. His squeals of delight when he caroms toward something he wants to touch are so infectious and joyful.
These days, I am spending more and more time with Lorenzo alone. He is comfortable with me sans mama now for longer periods of time than earlier in his infant life. He has been drinking expressed milk out of a little water bottle which has been wonderful for me. He rejected the baby bottle and sippy cups a long time ago and it was hard for him to go without his mama for extended periods of time. And it would be hard for me to comfort him when he was without what he needed. When he first drank the milk out of the water bottle with me, I cried. It was so beautiful and I felt that I could give him something he needed. I felt important and comforting to him. I still think of that moment with him when I feed him alone. We have our special spot where we sit and he sits on my lap. We have that moment together and I am so thankful for it.
The father I want to be to Lorenzo is based on not missing these moments -- on being an accessible father. Things like carrying him in a sling make me feel closer to him. Lately, when Robin goes to work, I have been carrying him in the sling in the front or hip carry and he has been falling asleep on my shoulder as I do things around the house. Being the shoulder for his angelic little face to rest on when he is tired, making him feel loved, fed and comforted -- that's what being a father is about for me these days. That's what I'll remember.