Monday, July 16, 2007

Zoe's Greatest Trick: Watching

I know what you're thinking. What is Zoe up to this week?

Zoe quizzes us with her eyes. She watches intently. If we tell a joke, she watches intently. If we sneeze, she watches intently. If we eat a ritz cracker with cheese-whiz, she watches intently. She watches intently. That's what she does.

You hold a mirror up to her, she watches intently. You shake a rattle at her, she watches intently. You lift her in the air and spin her around singing "whirlybird whirlybird," she watches intently. The dogs lick her forehead, she watches intently. With great attention, she watches us.

We buffoon around. We prepare bottles. We change diapers. We talk about plans for napping. We get the mail. We reach for stuff. We sit on furniture. We do all this and more.

She watches intently.

I'm beginning to feel watched.

Zoe's on the verge of a smile. I'm on the verge of kissing her on the nose. Jess is on the verge of making a new bottle. We're all in transition. We're transitioning. There's something changing every moment. There's something new to be learned. Zoe's learning. I'm learning. Jess is learning. Even the dogs are learning. The cat is learning. Neeka sits on the new air conditioner. She's learning to like the breeze. She watches Zoe intently. Zoe watches back.

It's the most quiet chaos imaginable. Everybody is so studious. There's elation in everyone's silent intent. We look close. We listen close. We feel close. There's an unexpressable intimacy to the entire day. I picked up a washcloth and handed it to Jess. Jess wiped Zoe's face. Zoe watched intently. It goes on like this for hours.

I love it.

Saturday, July 7, 2007


She'll always be our perfect miracle.

It's strange to know that babies are born each day. Every single day in every single nation. Yet, they are ALWAYS special and are ALWAYS accompanied by their respective magical moments.

I love Zoe. Jess and I are having so much fun with her. She is her own mysterious being. We have very little access to her thoughts and feelings. But we do have some. We watch her sleep. She is not yet able to smile, but you can get her attention. And her attention itself is maturing. She watches closer. She watches longer. Her expressions change with the object of her focus. She listens. She doesn't quite understand. But she listens. That's a start.

For now, we obsess with figuring our little one out. We try to get a handle on her needs. We try to determine whether her fusses are problems that need to solved by us, or fully experienced by her. We try to entertain her. We try to relate to her. We succeed in varying degrees. But these challenges and emotions are all magically free-of-charge, and so we'll shoot for the stars!

I'm excited to see what she's got in store for us!

Visions of Zoe!

Zoe is born!!

Will all cliches come true? What a beauty! What a miracle! What an unexplainable glory! How sweet she is! How innocent! How vulnerable! How perfect! Jess and I have been rendered stupefied by this little master of art and science. I've never felt anything like this before.

My brain is lit! It doesn't understand. It's convinced that I'm dreaming. It's drenched each moment in surrealism. There is no fantasy that can match the reality of the newborn baby asleep in the swinging chair. And the next day, the miracle is chugging a bottle of Enfamil as a dog scratches its ears in the window. Is this life? Is this real?

Usually in life, magical moments are fleeting. They're a quick darting day at Disneyland, or an exhilarating new freedom at a graduation ceremony. But ever has elation lasted this long. Will it always be this way?

My girl was born at 10:26 am on June 21st. I was there, although I feel like an entirely different man that writes before you today. I was actively participating in all the graphic realities before me. I was watching the top of her head approaching and retreating with each push and associated rest. I was inches away when Her head finally cleared, and she seemed to hover in the air. She was looking at me, not even completely born! Her body still inside her mother. It seemed to last for hours. It seemed to last for an instant. And before I knew it, she was free. She was laying on Jess' stomach. She was crying. But it didn't feel like sadness. It felt like the miracle itself! It felt like the miracle describing itself to me in the language of a little newborn Girl!

And the miracle cried. And I looked at her. I put my hand on her back. and I said "It's Ok Zoe. It's me! It's your daddy!" And she immediately stopped crying. She looked at me, and then rested. And each time she felt the confusion overtake her, she'd begin crying again. And I'd reassure her, and she'd rest again. Even now, two weeks later, she is easily consoled. Just with a word.