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When Simon was about three weeks old, an old friend called to check in on us. He and his wife were considering having a baby themselves, and the question arose, “Now that you have him, can you imagine your life without him?”

At the time my friend asked, Simon was just a few weeks old, he had been screaming his head off for about an hour, and I was terribly sleep deprived. Could I imagine my life without him? You bet! At that moment, I would have happily taken a dip into the calm pre-baby waters.

Simon is now six months old, and we’ve gotten to know each other much better. Someone else asked me the same question a week or so ago, and this time my immediate and unthinking answer was “God no.” I can still remember my life pre-baby, but I can’t imagine having that life now.

Nor do I want to. It’s not that I’m deluded and think every moment is all sunshine. Of course it’s not! The last few weeks Simon has been eating often and sleeping little. More than once I have wondered–seriously wondered–how I will manage to keep my sanity to say nothing of getting any work done.

But the thing is, even with the eating and non-sleeping, he’s a little sweetie–my little sweetie. He lessens my stress, he makes me laugh, he frees me up to play the silly games and sing the silly songs I, ever trying to catch up to my older brothers, rarely did as a kid myself.

These are all serious benefits, but nothing comes close to seeing how he loves me. When you are pregnant, everyone tells you that you’ll love your child more than you can imagine. I disagree. In fact, I could imagine loving my kid about as much as I love Simon. Truth be told, there were pre-Simon moments when I gazed at Percival or Tristan sleeping and felt a now-familiar heart swell. Clearly there was no shortage of pathetic fallacy going on in our household.

No, for me the true revelation of parenthood is how much Simon loves me. I can walk into a room and watch his entire face light up. If I’m terribly stressed or sad, he’ll fuss and be unsettled. If I’m feeling bouyant and happy, I can almost always make him smile. Much as Simon loves Dad and Grandma and Bubbie–and he loves these care-takers fiercely–sometimes only I will do.

It is astonishing and exhilarating and more than a little terrifying.

So here’s the part where I break into verse. Matt’s band has been practicing this little dittie by Cheap Trick–yes, Cheap Trick–that seems apt:

I want you to want me
I need you to need me
I’d love you to love me
I’m beggin you to beg me

As a love song, it’s a bit creepy and cliche. As a modern lullaby, on the other hand, it’s kind of sweet and sums things up well. You just have to ignore the second verse and the fact that it was written by Cheap Trick.

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