Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Fatherhood Saga

Thorn was born in May of 2009. He will be 20-months old a week from tomorrow. It isn't a lot of time. My own lifetime encompasses over 330 months, after all. And yet, it is as if I've lived through several lifetimes with my child. He changes so much from week to week, and sometimes even from day to day. At first he slept, ate, and evacuated. That was all. Life was simple, though we didn't get much sleep. Then he started to move a bit more, to pay attention whenever he was awake, and to make gurgling and giggling sounds. Now, of course, he walks, he runs, he climbs, he jumps and dives, he tosses balls (and can even catch them with a little coaching and some parental finagling), and he follows directions when it suits him to do so. He doesn't speak much. Only a few words. He prefers to use gestures. Dozens of gestures, and they grow more complicated daily. I'm having a hard time interpreting them now, which I suppose is when the language gears will jump, as he finds it necessary to communicate with me. Still, I am fascinated by his non-verbal, linguistic talents. I wonder if these gestures will fade away as words replace them, and if so, will I remember them in the days and years that (I hope) stretch before us? We want our children to grow up so that our work is less and our pleasure greater. We want to be able to communicate with them. But I will miss parts of this time. I will miss the hand motions, the pointing, and the elaborate physical twists that Thorn uses to try to convey messages to me. I will miss the excitement he gets when given his bottle, the little happy dance that makes me feel warm deep in my heart.

I do hope you grow up, but not too quickly, little Thorn, not too quickly at all.    

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