It's the smile

It's the smiles. They're what propagate the human race.

He comes into the world. 18 hours of the type of pain we've designed out of our 21st century American life. 18 hours of spousal helplessness. 2 hours of confusion and exhaustion and frustration and deep dark night. Screaming. Her. Me. him. HIM

Adrenaline. Confusion. Crap, now I've gotta take care of this thing.

He's sleeping randomly, crying randomly, pooping back sludge randomly. The adrenaline keeps you going. 2 days. 4 days. You think the adrenaline has worn off. 1 week and you're starting to get the hang of things. The sleep ain't great, the days are hard, but your an awesome parent. 2 weeks and you're telling people it's not that bad.  The sleep isn't easy, but you're figuring out ways to make it work. He's fussy, but you know your 5S's and have it covered.

Then the adrenaline actually starts to fade. Each day is just a bit harder. Maybe it isn't as easy. He's 4 weeks old, and it's starting to feel like work.

He's a vampire. He stays up at nights. He eats bodily fluids. He's draining. He gives nothing back. No eye contact. No hugs. No smiles. He sleeps (randomly), he eats (slowly), he cries (loudly).

It's getting dark. 6 weeks and the parents are getting an understanding of the situation. He's sleeping even less. Up every 90 minutes all night long. Nothing to give back.

8 weeks. Crying every night. The parents. No sleep. No time. The nadir.

Then: A smile. Not gas. An actual smile. Wow. Another.

A week. These are not random. it's me. He's smiling at me.

A week. I come home late from work. Olivia and Beckett are sleeping in bed. Beckett stirs as I sit down. He cracks his eyes open.  He sees me.  He looks into my eyes. He breaks out into a huge grin, ear to ear. He gurgles.  He moves his hands.  He connects and is happy and makes me happy and makes Olivia happy. He isn't a vampire.

It's the smile that keeps the human race going.