I have loved babies since I was old enough to distinguish them as such - aka, not one myself. When I was in fifth grade, I was the lunch monitor in charge of a class of first graders. I didn't know at the time, or at least it didn't matter, that I was only 10 and not really much older than they. After all, I was in a position of authority, and most of the 6 year olds respected it. Anyway, these children and I really fell in love that year. Somewhere, I have an autograph book with all their little love notes in it. My mom always said I'd have at least 10 children. Hell, maybe I would if I were rich and had a place to stick 'em all.
When I was 17 I worked at a music camp and was a bus monitor. Every day the little kids fought over who got to sit on my lap, and so we had to develop systems and schedules. Children are quite good at delegating time, and they can even be pretty fair about it. I remember there was a tiny one, Emily, whom I could have kept in my pocket all day.
Then I met Joe, and lo and behold, here was a man who shared my fascination with children. Photographing children was his specialty. As I watched him work with them, I was in awe of how he captured their essence, because he understood it. And boy, did they love him. Everywhere we went I watched kids just worship him. It's hard not to fall in love with a man like that If you don't believe me, next time you see Joe, ask him to take off his thumb for you or give you an electric handshake.
And thus as a couple, we became child - watchers. Long before those crazy spermatozoa courted my eggs, we observed children and their silliness, innocence, and brilliance. In parks, on trains, on the street, Joe's niece and nephews, all the kids he photographed, children everywhere amazed us.
When Theo was in my belly this intensifed. Now, we watched children with tangible anticipation. And it wasn't the milestones, like first steps or words. It was things like kneeling on the seat of the train to look out the window, a classic kid activitiy. Or demanding that you do something funny over and over, by saying "again!" Or watching funny little feet stick out of a Baby Bjorn, or big, glowing eyes gaze in wonder at something for 20 minutes, when no one has a clue they're looking at.
I can't express how wild it is when these things that we thought about happening, happen.
This is meant to segue into my next few entries.