As a priest, I was called Father all day, but never thought about being a daddy. Now, I think about being a daddy all the time and I couldn't be happier.
We saw our first ultrasound just a few weeks ago. Sara's tummy barely showed any signs of being pregnant. The technician cleared a little space on my wife's abdomen. She spread on some gel and moved the ultrasound device slowly around just below the belly button. First, we saw a hand. Neatly formed finger bones appeared, clearly visible for a moment. Then in rapid succession: the top of a head, a torso, the bottom of a foot, and the length of a leg. The screen went dark for a moment as the technician tried to find another good position for the instrument. Both feet came into view. The little child appeared seated in profile. The feet whirred rapidly as if the baby rode an impossibly small invisible bike. Suddenly, as if impelled by the energy of those little legs, we witnessed a complete back flip. Talk about miniature athletic talent!
Now, I am drawn to babies constantly. They whole city is crawling with them and I can't stop watching them. At any given moment there must be 10 at Giant Eagle. I don't notice the parents as much, but I see the babies. In Church there are usually dozens with at least one guaranteed near by. I make faces at them and they try to mimic. I stick out my tongue and they wriggle theirs. I smile and they beam. I intermittently try to pay attention to mass and reach out to hold Sara close as we pray together.
It isn't hard to imagine holding my newborn. I visit my first and only God-daughter, Carmen, and my God-baby-mama indulgently lets me hold her while she chats with my wife. I practice cradling her head. She wriggles and turns her.
“She's really squirmy today.”
“Which way is she turning her head?”
“Away from me.”
“Good, that means she's not hungry yet. If she was hungry she would turn toward you.”
I'm glad she isn't hungry yet. That means I can keep her a little longer. Her smallness amazes me. She has tiny old man's hands. Her skin is incredibly soft and she has a great abundance of hair. Her eyes are blue.
Still moments of fear crop up. Have you ever watched the Supernanny? Apparently anything can happen when children are involved. And don't even get me started on all the possible complications or the things a pregnant mom is “supposed to do.”
We just try to shower our love down on “little C”. A little blessing for the baby at prayer times. Eat right and act with common sense. Sara and I love each other more every day making the most of these months. I guess there isn't anything else to do. Just trust, have faith, and enjoy each moment.