it's hard to believe how different bebe is on an almost daily basis. i know that everyone says babies change daily, every day is something new, etc., but having a well-documented child is really making that point obvious. between her mother and myself, bebe is easily photographed/video'd about one thousand times a month. and thank buddha for digital, or we'd have fewer pictures, or less stuff (like food, clothing, shelter...). we look back at pictures from only a few months ago and realize that compared to today, she was pretty bald back then. and to reinforce the notion that you'll love your baby and find them beautiful regardless of how ugly they may actually be, when i look back at her earliest pictures she is kind of funny looking. not ugly, but funny looking.
i consider myself to be pretty objective. i try to see all sides of an argument (some would call this being argumentative) and defend the better points of each of those sides (and some would call this having a fear of commitment). and i honestly (and objectively) believed that she was a super cute baby who looked better than most babies (that e-trade kid is a looker, i have to admit. even if he couldn't talk or manage his stocks successfully online he'd probably still have a job in show business). so maybe it's just by comparison that i'm able to look back and "see" that she was a purple, squish-faced, long-limbed little larva. but i couldn't see it then. i could only see what i could see, at that particular point in time. i know, this is getting deep. find something to hold on to.
and there are some things that i can't see, no matter where or when i am. like from the moment she was born, just about everybody said how much she looked like me. i still can't see it. but i can't see my wife in there either. she sort of has her mems' mouth, but mostly bebe just looks like bebe to me. it reminds me of a stupid line from one of the matrix movies that i love to make fun of. larry fishburne's character morpheus (or, murple, as i like to call him) says "what happened, happened, and couldn't have happened any other way." yeah. so bebe is bebe, and couldn't be(be) any other person. and when i look back at her brief, yet vast, photographic history i can already see so many changes. i look at her and try to imagine where that face is going- what features will end up emphasized, which not? i try to picture her as a toddler, a nine year-old, what she'll look like with hair? i ride the college branch of the subway to work and back every week day and i'm surrounded by young college women- any of whom could be examples of my daughter at that age. needless to say, i don't look at the hot ones in quite the same way anymore. thanks, fatherhood :(
beatrix and i shared a moment a few weeks ago when, in the middle of playing with our toys on the floor in the living room, she looked up from her seated position, stopped what she was doing, and looked directly into my eyes. she's big on staring contests so i braced myself to beat her down (she likes to start them, but if you stand up to her she backs down pretty easily). as our eyes locked, something changed. i wasn't getting the same look from her as usual. i can't really explain it except to say that in that fraction of a second i really saw her. oooohhh, ahhhhhh... i know it sounds really new-agey. light a candle and rub your crystal if you want. i know if i were reading this right now i'd throw up. smoke 'em if you got 'em.
but it's true. maybe she was just spacing out or something, or maybe she just caught me off guard. like normally i'd be looking into her face, but looking to see something, looking with a purpose (as opposed to looking with a porpoise, which would make things all wet... nyuk nyuk nyuk), and this time i was looking without knowing i was looking. and i could see her, in a way that was completely removed from me or the wife, just this little human looking up at me with a totally open expression on her little human face.
the only way i've thought of to describe this is to say that it was as if her entire life flashed before my eyes. i felt like at that second i could look in to any part of her life, any time, and see her. like looking forward into the history of her evolution, from face to face to face. and i would guess that what was actually happening was the spontaneous reconciliation of the responsibility i now feel for this person who exists because i (and one other) willed her to be. perhaps this was something i had told myself i understood, but without actually understanding it. would you agree, doctor? i know, i know, it's not your place to say. what really matters is whether or not i believe it, you would say. and i do.
wow. i sure didn't expect to put all that out there. i was just going to show you these pictures, say they were only from a few weeks ago (which they are), and comment on how different bebe looks even now, in such a short amount of time. it would seem i'm seeing her differently every day...