I wish I had some fantastic smiley photos to accompany this post, but I'm still working on getting some good ones. Carter is dishing them out right and left these days, but apparently just not when I have a camera. And when he's in a good mood, the last thing I want to do is disrupt it by jumping up to get the camera. It's been fun to see all of his smiles and hear his happy noises, though. I can't get enough!
The reason for this post is because I had this funny little realization the other day. Suddenly it occurred to me why parents always like to see their baby smile. I mean, smiles are cute, but I realized why the arrival of the smile era is such a monumental milestone--it's because it's the first moment when you know that your baby is happy. And what does every parent want more than anything else? For their child to be happy.
When your baby is born, you spend all of your time making sure their needs are met. You feed them, change them, and cuddle them, all in an effort to make sure they're comfortable. You don't get much in return, but for some reason it can still be one of the most rewarding things ever. But amidst all that, I don't know if "happy" is an adjective most parents would use to describe their newborn. Sweet, content, cute, good...perhaps. But happy? That descriptor doesn't come around until later, after the smiles begin. That is the point at which you know that your baby is happy, really and truly happy. It can be short-lived, of course, but every little smile is confirmation that you're doing something right. It's a good feeling to have a happy child, and after a couple months of wondering if your baby is feeling good at any given moment, that confirmation is so nice to have. It's the first real emotional connection you can have to your child, and that's why it's such an exhilarating experience.
Not to mention that it gives you something to do. A while back I talked about not knowing what to do with Carter sometimes, and while I'm still working on it, the arrival of smiles means we have something to aim for. It's still not easy to get one, but I can play with him in hopes he'll kick one out and confirm that yes, we are having fun. And it will only get better from here. I can't wait!
Sorry, I know this isn't much of a post, but I wanted to write this up before I forgot! I have a couple things to share from last weekend, but I haven't gotten around to pulling the pics off the camera yet. Soon, I promise.