In life you create relationships with people who already know themselves... at least for the most part. They know if they are night owls, or if they eat breakfast or just have a cup of coffee instead. They know if they prefer white bread or whole wheat. They have their own style, good or bad. They know their morals and what they stand for. When you create your relationship with them, they teach you these things about themselves that are already established. That they, themselves, have established and selected for themselves.
My son is not established. We are learning everything about him together. In this time of discovery, we both become so frustrated with one another, but also share in the moments of delight that seem to fill my heart so full tears stream from my eyes. He loves mornings and hates tummy time. He refuses pacifiers until he is lying in his crib. He thinks getting dressed is fun and loves to have his bum wiped. Kiss his feet and in return received the widest, gummiest smile you have ever seen! We didn't know all this 2 months ago.
2 months ago we were all frustrated. We were all crying. None of us slept through the night.
Now my boy sleeps from 6pm -12am, only waking to eat, then peacefully falls back to sleep until 3am. This began a week ago when he started sleeping in his crib. My heart broke. Not because we let him cry it out... or because he hated it. In fact, neither of those things happened. He took to it like a fish to water. My heart broke because he didn't need me next to him like I need him.
The soft sound of his breath does not translate through the baby monitor. Only the cries that startle me awake and the occasional sleepy coo. I must accept that this is part of him establishing himself. He is already becoming more independent and exploratory and for that I should be excited. He is learning to trust himself, as well as us.
During the day he lays in his Pack'n Play and stares and bats at the little animals that hang above him and makes new sounds, exploring his own abilities. I ask him to repeat the squeaks and squeals of delight, to which he responds with his confused eyebrows and then goes about his baby business.
As we learn about him together, I am trying so hard to remember every detail about our journey. The faces he makes, the pitch of his noises, what makes him happy, even the little warm tears that fall onto my arms occasionally. While we take this journey together, I hope that I am able to help him to establish himself into someone great - someone people can look to as a trusted friend, a giving man, and a motivated citizen of the world - someone I can be proud of, but most importantly, someone he is proud to be.
And I hope for him that when he is grown and creating relationships with others, that he knows exactly who he is, what he likes and how to share himself positively with others. I hope to look to him in my old age and think to myself, "I helped shape that man into who he is, and he is tremendous."
These 3 months have sped by, and yet I can hardly remember my life without him.