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If you’ve ever seen the ridiculously funny movie, Zoolander, then […]

If you’ve ever seen the ridiculously funny movie, Zoolander, then you’ll recall the humorous facial expressions of the main character, Derek Zoolander. He has looks such as “Blue Steel” and the heroic “Magnum” look, which was so amazing that it thwarted a murder attempt.
Like really, really good-looking Derek Zoolander, our infinitely more good-looking little guy has been working on his expressions. At 7 weeks old, he already has a pretty impressive array of facial expressions. In the photo, you’ll see our favorite look, which we like to call “Astounded.” He has other endearing looks such as “Milk Drunk,” “Cranky,” “Filling The Diaper,” and “O.” It is this last look that is most likely to make him a top male model someday. He usually does this look right after eating and he’s drifting off to sleep. His cheeks relax in such a way that his lips naturally press into the perfectly round shape of an “O.” I can’t say much more about this look right now because it’s still top secret. He’s saving that one for just the right time in order to catapult himself into the elite levels of really, really good-looking male models some day.
All Zoolander references aside, though, I have been pondering the importance of facial expressions lately. In the absence of words and signs, they really are the main way in which we can understand the needs and well being of our little guy. I am amazed by how quickly parents can become experts in understanding their own infants. In just a few days we learn all the subtle cues and signals they are sending through their cute little faces and motions and sounds.
Recognizing these signals is a fundamental element in forming the parent-baby bond. Experiencing the wonder and delight of each of his little facial expressions reminds me how incredibly valuable the relationships with our children are. I can see him studying my face as I study his, as if we are getting to know one another through telepathy.
Someday, we will get to talk and laugh and reason together. Someday, he’ll ask me questions, and I’ll give him answers. Someday, we’ll marvel at the stars together. But for now, we read each other’s faces and talk with our eyebrows. It’s an ancient and sacred form of communication that you don’t have to attend school to learn. Rather, just enroll in the school of parenthood, take delight in your child, and let the learning begin.

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