It’s amazing how the simple act of spawning can teach you so much about yourself.
For example: I now know I can function — not adequately, mind you — on just a few hours of sleep a week. I’ve also come to understand that a baby’s scream (Mason doesn’t cry that much. He either smiles and giggles or screams bloody murder) seems to be at just the right frequency to be as annoying as possible to any adults within a two-mile radius. I have learned that little boys get quite the thrill out of peeing on whoever happens to be in the line of fire. (Mason finds it hysterical.)
And I now realize that there is some sort of unspoken attachment between a father and his son.
That realization hit me at about 6:30 p.m. last Tuesday. And it hit me like a ton of bricks.
It all started when the little lady and I had to get someone to watch Mason so I could take her to High Point for some pretty involved oral surgery. (She’s a tough little thing. First a very difficult and traumatic pregnancy, then an emergency C-section, then weeks in the NICU in Winston-Salem, now oral surgery. All within less than a year.)
So once Mason was packed off safely with the one person in the world she’d trust him with, off we went, and I expected her to be calling or texting every two minutes or so checking on the little lad.
But she was great.
And then there was the four-hour surgery and recovery, after which we were on our way back to Mayberry with the little lady recovering sleepily in the passenger seat.
Getting back into town, I plopped her in the bed and went to fill prescriptions and whatnot.
It was at about this point that I called and told the babysitter that we were back.
“Oh, so soon?” They asked, sounding disappointed. “He’s been sleeping all day and just woke up, and I was looking forward to playing with him for a little while.”
At that point I was all for it, since I needed a minute to take a breath.
“Go ahead and keep him and enjoy him for a while,” I said. “Just bring him back whenever you’re ready.”
That was at about 3:30 or so.
So I went back home, checked on the missus and sat down on the couch to enjoy the quiet.
And the house was simply too quiet.
By 6’ish, I didn’t know what to do with myself without having Mason around to play with and care for. And I found myself pining for him, screams and all.
“Oh my goodness,” I thought to myself. “I’m going nuts here. I actually miss the little guy. How’s that possible? He’s only a few months old. I can’t be that attached to him already, can I?”
But yes, I can.
When he returned home the very first thing he did was look me in the eyes and smile.
And I became all too aware of the aforementioned attachment I have to the little guy.
So the following day I told one of my friends, a father of two, about the incident.
He laughed and patted me on the back.
“So now you know,” he said quietly.
Keith Strange is a staff reporter at The Mount Airy News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1929.