My Son (Still Feels Weird to Say That)

Note: I’m taking a break from the 15 Habits Series (we’ll resume on Monday) today to share a short piece I wrote the other morning. It’s an essay about my son, Aiden. Let me know what you think.

My son’s head rises and falls with each quick breath he takes. He is small, the size of a football, although not quite as round. A doll in every way possible.

Baby Aiden Lying Down
My boy, Aiden.

At seven a.m., while the birds sing outside, I type on the keyboard while my son makes chirping noises, his head resting against my chest. My son, chirping. My son.

It feels weird to say those words, much in the same way it felt odd to say “my wife” for months after the wedding. And yet, I looked for every excuse to say it, to prove to the world that this person belonged to me. The same is true now. It’s exciting to have this new title, this new role — and at the same time, unbelievably scary.

My son smacks his lips in a tiny kiss anytime he is awake. I’m concerned about that, the kissing, although I shouldn’t have to be worried for years. I hope.

As far as he is concerned, there are two times worth remembering: sleep time and eat time. If he is not sleeping, then he is smacking those lips, waiting for food. There is, however, a third time that sneaks its way into each day: discover time.

My son is not yet a newborn. He was born four weeks premature, yet without complication. For that, I’m grateful. He came into this world fighting, and I see it in his eyes when he opens them a few minutes each day. They are wide and blue, like the ocean, and he uses them to swallow the world around him.

He can’t see well, that’s what the doctors say (about any baby at this stage). But I don’t believe it. Sure, he may not be able to focus, and the corneas and retinas may still be developing, but my son sees.

I can see it in his eyes.

Every day is a new day for this baby boy. My baby boy. His face muscles twitch and his limbs shake — he is still getting used to this body and the great big universe around him. The irony is I am still getting used to him. This tiny life that brought such monumental change.

I hope the world is ready.