It's amazing to look at Jacob and think of all the things he's going to learn and experience in the years to come. Knowing that you were there from his first moment of life, when his knowledge of the world was at zero, and having the opportunity to build up that knowledge, is such a huge responsibility. Even just in the next few months he's going to pick up so many new things, from rolling over to playing with toys. Beyond that I can't wait to have him experience the world, like opening up gifts at Christmas or petting his first animal or enjoying the changing seasons. I hope he likes thrill rides like his mommy and finds out he's got athletic ability like his daddy, because both will bring him a lot of joy as he grows older. I want him to grow into a loving, intelligent person who has the drive and ability to do amazing things in this world. I want him to be a strong Christian.
Now that he's smiling a little more and slowly but surely figuring some things out, I'm starting to see the potential his little life holds. It also helps that I'm getting more sleep these days and am not so distracted by the massive demands that come with a newborn--my brain has more ability to think about stuff like this, rather than how I just need a nap! In any event, I see Jacob's wide-eyed curiosity and can't wait to encourage it with all that life has to offer.
Of course, there's always the paranoia that you're not going to teach them right, or give them enough stimulation. As a parent you theoretically know best, but there's a whole big world out there and even you only know part of it. Communicating all you know and have experienced is a daunting task. You want to make sure that you give your child a well-rounded, rich life experience, and you still don't want things like expense or parental hang-ups to get in the way of that...but despite your best intentions, they probably will. Maybe you won't get to take your child on some amazing culture-rich vacation, or maybe they just won't try a certain food because it's something you don't eat. I'm still trying to figure out when it makes sense to start bedtime prayers or eating at the kitchen table, to make sure Jacob gets in good habits right away. I know, no time like the present...
Sometimes when I'm in the midst of thinking about all he can accomplish, I hear a story about someone else's baby that tears my heart out...mostly because I can't even fathom what I would do if that child was Jacob. Whether it's a kid with cancer or autism, or those poor little babies with kidney stones (or worse) in China after consuming bad formula...I just can't stand the thought of anything preventing Jacob from reaching his potential. When a good kid goes bad (or worse, never even has the chance to because their life was cut short) I always wonder if the parents think back to their perfect baby and just wonder what happened. I pray I never have to do that with Jacob. He's just so amazing and each day I look forward to him learning and developing more and more. I feel so blessed to have him.
And with this face, how could I not?
Notice his adorable Moose shirt. Yeah, Mommy & Daddy's preferences are getting pushed on the poor kid. He's not even three months old and he has two stuffed moose of his own, not to mention a couple moose-oriented articles of clothing. The thing he's cradling (he was holding it by the arm a few seconds before I got this picture) is Potato Pete, one of the pierogies from the famous Pierogi Race at the Pittsburgh Pirates games. He's a little beanie and we had a great minute or so watching Jacob wave him around by his arm. Every little Polish kid should have a stuffed pierogi.