It is remarkable the difference between a one month old, a two month old, and a (almost) three moth old. From the very first moment I saw him I felt attached to Espen by a bond that seemed as deep and old as time itself. I still do of course. But now I also really like him! In fact, he’s well on his way to being my favorite person ever. He’s winsome, and sweet, and smiles easily. Sure, we still don’t get what anyone in their right mind would call a good night’s sleep, but when I turn on the lights and say, “it’s morning!” I’m greeted by a big grin and a barrage of coos and burbles. He thinks it’s hilarious if you blow raspberries at him. We spent the last few days teaching him to stick his tongue out, and when he does and you say, “yay!!!!” he looks just terribly pleased with himself.
Whenever I find something new that makes him smile, I feel like I’ve stumbled upon a cache of buried treasure. When I was several months pregnant, I suddenly went on this crazy crafting kick and in a moment of Etsy-inspired madness spent a weekend sewing small felt animals to make a mobile. Well, Espen loves his mobile! I start it spinning and he lights up like a Christmas tree and waves at it (he especially likes the goldenrod colored fox), and I feel like it was the best use of a weekend. Ever.
I wonder if babies are so challenging and exhausting at first because it makes us love them all the more when they come into their own and start interacting with us. We look at them and we know that in their helplessness and vulnerability they have brought us to the brink of what we had to give, and then showed us that we actually can give even more, more than we ever could have imagined. We can work harder, care more, and love more deeply than we ever knew was possible. I think you’d never find those depths in yourself if the first couple months of being a parent were a total breeze.