When you're pregnant, you learn that there are certain questions that people will ask you, and no matter what your response is, the reaction will be the same. How far along are you? What are you having? What will the name be?
In the past eleven plus months of having the dink, I've noticed that people continue to make the same comments to me. The dink has been called "beautiful" by more strangers than I can count. At first it made sense, a precious four-week old teeny weeny with angelic features. But later, I started expecting cute or handsome, or something to indicate that he was growing up into a little boy...but no, "beautiful" is still what every single person says about him. Must be the blue eyes and blond hair. Whatever it is, I've decided that it doesn't mean anything, just like all of those other standard questions. It's a standard comment for people who don't know you or your baby but just want to make a brief connection when he waves or smiles in the grocery store or at church.
For a few months, though, people have actually been saying something that matters to me. The beautiful comments are reserved for brief encounters and passers-by. But the next comment comes from those who stop for a minute or two, or watch him in mass week after week, or study him as we wait in the checkout line. "What a happy baby." It makes me smile just to think about it. At first, I thought, aren't all babies happy? I still don't know the answer to that, but just the fact that so many people comment on my baby's happiness makes me think that they must not be. It's probably that so many babies are over tired and the dink's happiness is just a sign of his well-restedness. But I'd rather think it's because we're doing something right. Because we smile incessantly at him just to see his toothless grin. And because we make up silly songs and do goofy dances for him, and especially let out fun noises just to get him to laugh. Because we're happy, or at least we put on a good show when we're not. I just pray that it lasts. That when he's fives years old, at the pediatrician, Dr. W makes the same comments that he has at almost every appointment since the dink was three months old. He's impossibly cute. He's got personality. He's a wild man. I think what Dr. W is trying to say is just a more insightful version of all those strangers repetitive comments. What a happy baby. And what a happy mommy to have him.