As a dad it is harder to form a bond with your newborn, especially if they are breastfeeding. And I think, it is especially hard when you have another child because most of the time you are running interference as mom tries to feed or bathe or soothe the new one.
But as I was rocking Miss Sophia the other night I had one of those moments. One that as a new dad you cherish. Sophia is starting to become very aware of her surroundings and is very much aware when I come by - or at least that is what I tell myself because she always seems to smile when I poke my head in to her swing or her bouncy seat. So, anyway, as I was sitting there rocking her and realizing how fast she was changing, she started cooing and batting her hands in the air. She was moving them at a frantic pace but all the while her big blue eyes were locked in on mine...and at that moment I made a connection I hadn't made in the first few weeks of her life.
She was staring through me, into me, like she knew that I was her daddy, and that I was the one who was going to be there for her, no matter what. That I was the one that would console and congratulate her as she moved through the years. That I was the one that would be completely wrapped around her little finger now and forever. And, yes it sounds crazy that I saw all of those things in a few moments of a stare but that is what happens with kids.
One minute you are crazy from exhaustion and the next you are overwhelmed with pride, and joy, and disbelief, that something so small, so beautiful is yours to protect and to nurture, and you get overwhelmed so you read too much into an innocent stare, but it is ok. Because at the end of the day those things, they are what they will look at you for. Maybe not at that precise moment but in the future. Those stares in a rocking chair are harbingers of things to come, of hurts and pains that you will have to sooth and of joys that you will share.
So, maybe it was exhaustion or maybe it was real, but thanks baby for that moment. For the deep blue stare. For giving me something to grab on to and something to look forward to.