There are certain moments where your life accelerates. It took me eons to get from age four to four and a half. And then I started Kindergarten. My red cheeks smiled at my crush, I did a stegosaurus dance, and drilled a hole for the mast in my wooden boat for the regatta. And then I was in high school. Spanish, physics, and driver’s ed in 1988 white Ford Tauruses with an extra brake. And then the Air Force, college, teaching, and law. I blinked twice into each new routine. And twice out of each one. Marriage was a slow-motion life evaluation, for a split. And then:
It’s been a month since my wife called me and said, “I think my water broke.”
And what a month it’s been. A quick, meaningful half-blink. And oh, the things I learned!
1. The football hold: I slide his legs into my armpit and hold his head between two fingers as he spits up a bit, or clenches his face, or sleeps.
2. Umbilical cord care: I used to like raisins.
3. The diaper change: I have my method down cold. As soon as his face goes into the “Dad, I’m going to poop!” look, I stand up, I walk across the room, and I ask my wife, “Babe, would you like a back rub?” When she says, “yes,” I hand her Zach. He begins to poop and we both laugh because I tricked her again.
4. Circumcision care: 😦
5. Bath time: There are dad jobs during bathtime and there are mom jobs during bathtime. I sprinkle warm water on his face and body and he kind of smiles at me. My wife gets the washcloth and he cries as she scrubs. Zach and I like bathtime. Mom, a little less.
6. Cheek airbags: Zach first picked up his large head at a week old. I put him on my shoulder and up it came. Just because he lifted it, didn’t mean that he could lay it down. It flopped around as if it were on a swivel. He hit my cheek and cried. Once. Then I learned that as soon as his head came up, I inflated that cheek to give him a comfy, five o’clock shadow landing.
So life is officially in overdrive. The time’s going quicker, but it’s more halcyonic. I’d like to make it last, but don’t mind stepping on the gas.