Many years ago, when I was best defined as The Single Girl around the office, I had a co-worker and friend with whom I worked quite closely. He was the quintessential proud daddy of a newborn son, and every morning he had the same routine. As we settled into our seats in preparation for another day of creating life-altering ads about gin, there would be this moment where his eyes locked on nothing in particular and suddenly he was far away.
Then the grin would emerge.
It started out small at first, something that you might not even notice were you not actually looking for it. But over the course of the next minute or so, it transformed from subtle harbinger of contentment into this thing with a life of its own. It taxed his cheeks, crinkled his eyes, stretched his lips to their physiological limit until it could no longer be contained as anything less than a full-blown smile.
At this point, my co-worker would set his coffee down, lean toward me and ask, “wanna hear Luke’s cute thing of the day?”
And I did. I mean anything that could generate a smile like that, right?
But each time I answered, “sure!” I became the recipient of information like Luke turned his head or Luke’s hand opened and closed or Luke burped all by himself.
And I’m like, very nice thank you so much now excuse me while I RSVP to this party at Lot61.
I couldn’t have possibly understood why something as small and (I thought) insignificant as Luke noticed his right foot today! would generate such unfettered joy. I mean a first tooth? That I could understand. Waving bye-bye? I’m all over it. Little bit of hair? Great! Show me the pictures and I’ll ooooh and ahhhh and awwww with the best of them. But this stuff? Eh. Didn’t get it.
If I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that the universe always has plans for us beyond what we plan for ourselves. Also, the universe is a big fan of irony. (If you ever have to buy the universe a gift, I would suggest an early edition hardcover of Gift of the Magi. Signed, if possible.) And so now I find myself in my co-worker’s proverbial shoes with a baby who’s doing new things by the minute. And to top it off, I’ve got a big mouth.
Oh, also a blog.
Enter: Thalia’s Cute Thing of the Day.
Scratch that–it’s Thalia’s Cute Non-Sucky Thing of the Day. Because while I may get all excited about the sucky things like her teeth poking half a millimeter further out of her gums, or a new consonant that she’s babbling non-stop, I’m not nearly a good enough writer to get you excited about them too.
This week, my nine and-a-half month old daughter has discovered reading. For real. I thought she had done so months ago, but after seeing her reaction to Brown Bear Brown Bear this week, I realize I had been mistaken. (Sort of the way I rushed to the hospital at 41 weeks pregnant shouting, “my water broke!” only to discover that I was leaking KY from that morning’s internal exam. Good times.)
Until this week, books were drums. They were teething biscuits. At best they were time with mommy. Now, they are stories, each one with words to be smiled at, pictures to reach out and touch, and pauses between lines during which she can look up at me wide-eyed and giddy as if to say, “this is SO COOL!”
Plus, she’s turning the pages. Herself. Oh yeah. So not sucky.
And Craig? I’m so sorry. I get it now. If you have any of Luke’s milestones to share with me, sucky or otherwise, I am here and ready to listen. I know he’s probably about to shave by now, but still. If you want to talk about which shaving cream he picked out or how he missed a spot on the right side, I am here. And I’ll smile right along with you.