Father’s Day weekend has come and passed; almost perfectly timed with William becoming a social creature. I will admit that before he became social, it was a bit odd taking care of him. He was pretty much a cat that can’t walk around – ie. eat, sleep, poop, repeat. My job was to clean up the poop.
I could try/pretend to play with him and such, but he would barely respond in any way that could be considered social. So, those moments were more me playing with myself.
A little while ago (couple of weeks I think), he started to smile back at mommy and me. the first time that happened, it was pretty amazing. Whether it was an instinctual or automatic response on his part, it still felt like he was finally showing how much he cared and appreciated the efforts we were putting into making him happy and comfortable. He ceased being a cat, and started being more human.
This week, almost as a father’s day gift, he started to talk back in response to me, hold my hand and pull me near when he was lonely, and the very best, squeeze when I held him. I would bet that many people with children would understand this. There is no greater feeling. I wish I could explain it fully.
I can only explain it from my Catholic faith – it feels like pure unadulterated love. The type of love that is described in catechism to young people, who are probably too inexperienced to really understand it. He is no longer needing you there, he is wanting you there. He doesn’t even really know why.
This continued to peak during this Father’s Day weekend; specifically just after Suzanne gave me William’s gift, a cute t-shirt that said “daddy is my hero.” Now, you must admit that was more of a gift for himself, but I can excuse it since he’s still young and learning things like “gift-giving.” I smiled, give him a peck on the forehead and moved on with my day.
Then he started to cry…
A strange new cry, almost inconsolable. He wasn’t hungry, didn’t have a wet diaper, and wasn’t dealing with the common gas pain; he didn’t want his swing, or his playmat, even a bath didn’t help.
No, he was just crying… a lot.
Then I had a strange idea – I sat down on the couch and held him in my arms without walking around or bouncing him. Almost immediately, he went quiet and, even stranger, started to squeeze my sides and closed his eyes. This may seem boring and common, but this was something he had never done before.
In a short period of time, he seemed to have fallen asleep, and I thought, “great! He’s asleep, I can put him down and help mommy with cleaning the house.”
Nope. The moment I put him aside, he immediately returned to inconsolable unhappiness. so, I would pick him up again, he would squeeze and then fall asleep.
After a half-hour or so of this (passed by playing Candy Crush and reading Zite on my iPhone.), I wanted to actually get some work done. So, I asked mommy to come and take him, foolishly thinking it was just the warmth of my body calming him down.
He clearly wanted his daddy for Father’s Day.
This could all be coincidence and just lucky timing, but I wonder, deep down, if perhaps he just knew somehow. It was Daddy’s Day, Daddy is his hero, so he wanted to spend as much time with me as possible.
And to be honest, I enjoyed every moment of it.