Monday, April 2, 2007

Why I'm Up Late (or, Confessions of a New Mom)

I've gotten in the habit of staying up late, because I used to feed Ethan around midnight; he obliged by sleeping until about 6 a.m., and that from a pretty early age. Lately, he's been sleeping later and later (now sleeps 7-8 hrs. a night), so I've started feeding him and putting him to bed earlier. Unfortunately, I'm not sleepy anymore at 10 p.m. So, I'll muse a little about Ethan.

When he was first born I'd look at him, amazed that he looked just like our son should look, and it astounded me because I'd had no idea how our little one would look. I hadn't really imagined him or her /looking/ any certain way. All of a sudden, after 8 months of waiting, here was this baby, and he looked just like our child should look. Incredible.

Now, I look at him, and memorize what he looks like, and it still amazes me. He looks like himself. We read that by about nine months, infants recognize their name, and will turn when it is called. That astounds me, too: that a child can know who he is without anyone sitting him down and saying, "Now, you're Ethan, and I'm Mommy, and this is Daddy." Before Ethan even knows anything about a philosophy of the individual, or personhood, or the nature and essence of things, he will know that he is Ethan, and that Daddy is Daddy and Mommy is Mommy, and that we are different people who love him. That's pretty profound for a child.

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