As of Saturday, Desmond has been around now for fourteen months. We celebrated by going to get his very first haircut-hard to believe that the kid who had a natural mohawk for about the first seven months of his life needed one. Aside from a little discomfort when the electric razor trimmed the back of his neck, he was fine.
Getting your haircut must be tiring at that age, because he fell asleep around 5:30, shortly after we got home, and he is still upstairs sawing wood and has barely stirred. When he was an infant I felt the need to check on him while he slept all of the time, waiting until I could discern that his chest was rising and falling, sometimes putting a finger under his nose to feel his exhalations if it was taking too long. I don't check on him when he sleeps now nearly as much; he flops around all over the place and actually sleeps quite loud. I'll poke my head in when I am going to bed for the night, and then he normally wakes up as soon as my head hits the pillow. He is uncanny that way.
Fourteen months. Might as well be fourteen years because it gets harder and harder with each passing day to remember a time when he was not around. And I cannot believe how sentimental I've become in that time. It's impossible for me not to think about everything in terms of what it means for my kid first. Before all this I never thought of myself as the type of person who would want to see their kid get his haircut for the first time, but I really, really wanted to be there today. I'm not a fan of the type of place it was-too cheesy with everything available to make kids unafraid of getting their haircut; what's wrong with just plopping the kid down in a chair and cutting his hair?-but seeing Desmond's reaction in person made my day.
Yep, I'm getting soft. I'm sure age has something to do with it, but I react to everything now in terms of being a parent. Last night I watched a fictional TV show where a fictional woman lost a fictional four month-old fetus, all I could think about was how emotionally painful that experience has to be. Kristen and I watched Juno tonight (somewhat over-rated, and I hated how Jason Bateman's character turned out to be a dick) and throughout the entire movie all I found myself thinking about was how these imperfect (fictional) characters were making decisions that would affect an unborn (fictional) baby. And when the fictional adoptive mother holds her fictional adoptive son for the first time, and asks the fictional grandmother how she looks, it seemed pretty real to me.
I remember going to see Into the Wild a few months before Desmond was born. I loved it, one of my favorite films of the last decade, and sitting in the theater I thought about Emile Hirsch's character just wandering away from his life to roam and live off the land, and I was envious.
I rented the movie last March, when Desmond was three months old, and had a completely different reaction. While I still loved IT, I found myself screaming "DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT YOU ARE PUTTING YOUR PARENTS THROUGH???" over and over in my head at the main character, the same one that I had romanticized just a few months ago. He was cool in November, reckless in March.
That, in a nutshell, is what parenthood has turned me into.
Now there are certain things that I will NEVER do: I will never use the word "playdate" in a sentence (unless it is to say something along the lines of "Whoever came up with the term 'playdate' ought to be kneecapped"). I will never get excited about a parade. I will never spend my entire weekend driving my kid(s) to fifty-six sporting events. I do have some limits.
And with that, I can hear Desmond stirring upstairs. He's going to be needing a midnight snack.
(Kristen took some pictures of Des getting his haircut and can be seen here if interested)