Last night it was me and M. for an evening of baseball. I tried to get her to sleep downstairs so I could watch on the big screen and study, but I think she was too distracted and needed to be held the entire time rendering it impossible to hold a book. When she was due for her next bottle, we moved upstairs. After eating, burping, and getting changed, she chilled out in my arms for awhile. I was watching one game or another and working to keep her pacifier in her mouth, barely paying attention to her. Suddenly she got really quiet and I looked down. She was laying there, eyes wide open, Binky perched on her lips, but her mouth was spread in a soft smile. I took the Binky out and started talking to her. Her smile grew. She stuck out her tongue slightly and made light noises at me; our first conversation! This continued for about five minutes. After she was done exercising her conversational skills, she still wanted to stare at me, smile, and mimic my expressions. It was at least another 15 minutes before she grew tired of this game.
I’m telling you, there’s no better feeling in the world than when your child is old enough to interact with you and is totally entranced by the interaction alone. Someone could have exploded a bomb outside out house, and she would have been content to just lie there and look up at me. Next week she’ll probably do something else that amazes me, but it’s hard to believe any 20 minutes we share will ever be more magical and rewarding as that time together last night. I think you can judge the job you’re doing as a parent if every few days you have a moment that makes you think, “Nothing in life has ever been better than this moment.” As long as they keep coming, you’re doing ok.