At the sound of his cries I was instantly brought awake. I tried to get out of bed quietly, but it was too late; she was already awake.
“I’ll take care of him,” my wife said next to me from under her covers, beginning to rise.
“No, no, I’ve got him. Go back to sleep,” I insisted. She relented, knowing better than to say anything else. Most couples fight about who has to get up to take care of the baby; we “fight” about who gets to get up and take care of the baby.
Even the intense wailing put a smile to my face. Most are annoyed at being awoken in the middle of their night by their newborns, but I cherished the moments as I knew they wouldn’t last forever. I loved my son, unconditionally, and every moment – even time taken away from sleep – was worth spending with him. A gift. To see his beautiful, brown eyes. His adorable smile. His pink tongue always sticking out so ridiculously. His tiny arms, hands, feet, fingers, and face.
I walked into the nursery room, quickly advancing to where the crib was. I swiftly picked up my son, Liam, swinging him back and forth gently in my arms.
“Shh,” I whistled to him in a soothing voice. His big chocolate-colored eyes staring back at me; his mouth still mewling. But after a few moments, the noise began to silence. I walked around the room, a bounce in my step for his enjoyment, and the crying ceased all together. His eyes were still focused on mine, and the smile on my face finally brought one on his.
“You hungry, buddy?” I whispered. I moved to a dresser on the far side of the room on top of which stood a bottle. I grabbed it and carefully placed the nipple of the bottle in his mouth. But he wasn’t hungry, so I removed it and placed it back on the dresser.
“Alright, come on,” I said to him, carrying him out back into our room, then hastily into the hallway so as to not disturb my wife. I took him to my study where I had various case files lying on top of a large wooden desk. On all four walls stood bookshelves and various other items. On top of one bookshelf was a small model of the Eiffel Tower.
“You see that, Liam?” I said, pointing to the object. He followed my finger, but if he actually saw what I was pointing at I wasn’t sure. Still, I continued. “That’s a tower. Probably the most famous tower in the world. An iconic landmark.” He smiled back at me as if fascinated by my tale. Of course I knew he had no idea what I was saying, but my voice was soothing to him. And that was enough for me.
“Your mom and I went there for our honeymoon.” I paused for a moment before continuing, thinking back on the memories. “I still remember that day, that whole week. The most amazing week of my life. Your mother is amazing woman, Liam.” I kissed the top of his head lightly, eliciting another smile from him. “One of these days you’re likely to get married to, and you’ll find the perfect woman just as I did, just you wait.” I heard movement behind me and turned to find her in the doorway.
“Hey,” I said softly.
“Hey,” she answered, advancing toward me and giving me a kiss before giving four to Liam.
“No fair,” I mutter, laughing. She laughs with me, kissing me again.
“Come on,” she said, “let’s put Little Liam back to sleep.”
I nodded and smiled at my son. “Let’s go, buddy. We’ll learn more about towers some other day,” I said, following her into the hallway and back toward our room and then his.