As my wife and I settled onto the couch to watch a movie last night – I had a 7-pound, 5-ounce little bean clinging intently to my chest. This particular bean is not a member of the legume family, but rather my tiny daughter named Madeleine. She wasn’t the least bit tired when we sat down, but was completely content to hang out on Dad’s chest while he manipulated the television controls.
I looked down and she was staring straight up at me with those penetrating dark eyes. During our little stare down, it was hard to determine who was paying closer attention. We chatted briefly, well, I chattered on and she just sat there and watched.
I winced on multiple occasions because her little hands have mastered the art of partially ripping out chest hair. Her proficiency with this particular activity vastly improves on a daily basis. It’s stunning to me that such a little creature has the ability to inflict so much discomfort onto a fellow human being that outweighs her by more than 200 pounds. (think of the mouse that helped the lion with the splinter)
But despite the rapidly dwindling population of my chest hair – this is one of those precious moments that will be forever etched into my memory. Holding your little girl close to you seems to slow the time around you. Fatigue, anxiety and any conceivable negative emotion just seems to shrink and fade into the woodwork as you feel undeniable bond between you and your child.
The connection is unmistakable – and even though I just met this tiny person a couple of weeks ago – she already fully comprehends that she owns the rights to me.
Maddie evaluated her father and took in the sights and sounds around her for about 30 minutes before she began the descent into dreamland. I watched with rapt attention – taking in each blink and twitch until she was completely out.
There is no question that this little girl is more work than I ever could have fathomed. But by the same token, never has so much work paid so many dividends in such a short period of time.