It has only been two months, and I’ve already experienced a magical moment more powerful than the time I first held Everett in my arms. Everett smiled at me. The amazing thing about Everett smiling up at me is that he does it several times a day and the moment is just as wonderful every time.
I’ve wanted Everett to smile at me since the day he was born. I realize babies don’t smile at first. When it looked like Everett might be smiling, it usually meant he was passing gas. Even though I knew it was a “Fart Face,” I still liked to pretend he was laughing and smiling at my jokes. It was easy to convince others that was exactly what he doing until a rumble came from his pants. His gas inspired smiles were all I had at first, and so I cherished them.
It all changed one morning. I was doing my daily routine of singing and talking to Everett. I asked him what his evening was like, and what adventures he went on while I was asleep. I’m sure I was going on about some silly story about a moose aspiring to break into the clown business or a panda who was best friends with a dragon who sold life insurance. It really doesn’t matter what I was saying. During my ramblings, Everett let out a high pitched squeal and then formed the most beautiful smile I’d ever seen. I then waited for the pants rumble to follow. It never did. The smile didn’t go away either. It grew and filled his entire face. The more I talked and sang, the more he would smile and let out little squeals. I felt the most unbelievable natural high as it became clear my son was smiling at me.
This is now the big highlight of my day, getting my son to smile at me. Every time he does it, I’m filled with happiness and all my stress of the day wipes away. It is probably the most addictive and intoxicating thing I’ve ever experienced. It was one of those true bonding moments with my son, when I suddenly realized these smiles were real.
Everett is still at a stage where his head will bobble all over the place. Even when you hold his head still, his eyes will dart all over the room. He prefers to look at light or something shiny. He doesn’t often focus on our faces. If you talk long enough to him, then he usually turn to look at you for a little bit.
When Everett had his “Fart Face” he wouldn’t really look at you. It makes sense because he was busy concentrating on something else. He’d give his smirk, but then his face would become beet red as he got into the serious business of pushing. This was one of the ways we could tell he wasn’t really smiling at us, but you tend to smile towards what is making you happy. He just looked away, and made funny faces until the relief came.
This is how I know his “new” smiles are real. He looks right at me. Actually, he looks right into my eyes, as if to say, “Daddy, you’re so silly. But you make me so happy.” And then I have the largest and stupidest grin on my face. Because “Everett, you make me so happy.”