Saturday, April 25, 2009

Letter to Hedgehog: Month Two

Dear Hedgehog,

Month two finds you becoming a little bit more human-looking in my eyes. I mean, I did think you were beautiful from minute one, but newborns tend to look more like chewed-up gum than people. You now look a little more like the Gerber ideal of a baby.



Heading back to work was a bit of a bitch. I know that my job is important--that's one of the things I like about it, is how it forces me to be at my best--but it was really quite hard to get up for my job daily when the most important people in the world stay behind. And right now, while I'm grading monster research papers, it's even harder. But it's working out.

When I was in college, I found that my grades actually went up every time I dated. Some of that was that I was happier, but mostly I found that I managed my time better. Because I knew that, given the choice, I'd rather spend all day with the girlfriend, I would force myself to set aside time to get my studying done. The same principle is true now. Because I know I'd rather be with you, I'm making myself grade these huge research papers in record time by making myself spend a couple hours at the library or at Moxie's doing them -before- I come home.

Because home is so much fun now, and I know I won't want to grade there like I used to. This is a habit I'll try to keep through your childhood. I hope it's okay with you.

Occasionally I feel a little inadequate--it took me forever to figure out how to swaddle you--and when you're inconsolable, my lack of boobs is a handicap to settling you. But your mom says that you calm more from my slow-dancing than hers. So I've taken to singing slow John Lennon songs ("Julia," "Revolution #1," "This Boy") or slow-dance hits of the '80s ("Crazy for You," "True") while pivoting on one foot and putting my cheek next to yours.

And you fall asleep. Which means your mom falls asleep.

And when I can do something to calm these two most important people in the world, well, I feel as accomplished as any inventor, poet, or Nobel laureate.

As if that's not enough, your smiles arrived this month. Man oh man. The smiles. Impossibly wonderful smiles. Smiles when I come home. Smiles when you make good eye contact. Smiles for whatever other reasons are inside that developing brain. Big, glorious, open-mouth smiles.

Fatherhood, in spite of all the struggles, poop, and sleep deprivation, rocks. You should try it in another quarter- or third-of-a-century. I want you to be happy, and this is sure as heck has been effective for me in that regard.

Oh, and thanks for all the rounds of "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" this morning while your mom slept in. I had fun.

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