Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mr. Lazy Pants

Holy crap - Amari's crawling all over the place.

I love that Carrie hijacked my blog, by the way. I felt like I got a week off, even though I spent most of it hugging single parents. Some of them no doubt appreciated it, while others called the police and used words like "groper" and "frotteur" as though they were somehow illegal. Whatever. Uptight Americans.

Last week I went away for two days - a bureaucratic mission regarding my professional license sandwiched between a fun visit with my buddy, Matt. When I left on Monday Amari had only been crawling for three days, so her lack of mastery was still handcuffing her curiosity. She would take four or five focused crawls forward, then collapse on her belly, grab something within reach, and reward a job well done by indiscriminately sucking on whatever she'd found. By the time I called home from Fairfield that evening, Carrie told me Amari was now a "crawlin' fool." I felt excited and sad, but I also suspected Carrie might be exaggerating. When I came home Wednesday night, however, Amari looked across the living room, smiled her biggest, dimpliest smile, and - although I'd like to say she crawled frantically into my arms - just lay there on her belly waiting for me to pick her up. "This is a crawlin' fool?" I thought.

"Grab a glass of water or the laptop," Carrie suggested, so I obliged, sitting in a chair across the room pretending to be very interested in both my beverage and the monitor. Amari let out what I now call a warning laugh/shriek and crawled frantically into the arms of...well, the computer. I guess I'll have to make her a sign that reads "Will work for refreshments or technology."

Now Amari is in fact a crawling fool. She's like an explorer, seeking out a new world of toys, shoes, remote controls, and unsuspecting, attention-starved cats to colonize. She's gaining speed each day, which is both adorable and terrifying. Everything in her world is fascinating and new and potentially edible. Our only saving grace is that her distract-ability still surpasses her curiosity; that a carefully timed U-Turn will make her forget what she was excitedly heading towards.

The past week has been awesome - our much deserved summer break with lots of family time. I contemplated getting a part-time job, but a friend and colleague recently said, "You can make up the money, but you can't get back the time." This is such a precious time that we all have together, and I don't want to give up a minute.

Every day my capacity to feel deepens. Joy, sadness, excitement, pride, worry, fear, nostalgia, everything. Parenting is terrifyingly exhilarating. Almost eight months ago Carrie gave birth to Amari in our living room. I caught her as she entered our world and delivered her to Carrie's chest. Two hours later we were alone in our house with a baby. "What the hell did we do?" I thought? What now? Today, much to my surprise and delight, Amari is not only alive and well, she is thriving. Turns out, we're not too bad at this parenting thing.

PS For anyone interested in what dad does on his sabbaticals away from parental responsibility, please enjoy this video I made with my buddy, Matt.


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