One of my favorite things in the world is the extreme “genuineness” of my son’s smile in the early morning when I respond to his, “Hey everyone! I’m awaaaake!” cries.
The moment he see me looming above his crib, his face absolutely lights up. He grins so big his eyes close a little bit and his little toothless gums are visible on top and bottom. He sometimes even goes a bit rigid, his arms flailing in unbending lines and slapping the mattress, his back arching up putting his weight on his shoulders and little heels. I take it as the best he can come to jumping up to greet me with a hug – as much upward momentum as he’s yet been able to master. I often get a guttural screech, which I interpret as his attempt to vocalize something like, “Hi dad! I missed you! I was wondering who would come get me out of this bed; I’m extra-glad it turned out to be you.”
This “Hey it’s one of my parents!” type excitement can be extremely fulfilling. Cohen’s seems especially so when held in contrast to Keaton’s almost-teenager aloofness. About 50% of the time she’s grumpy in the morning, or shrugs off my queries on how her sleep was or that it’s good to see her or that I’m glad she’s awake. Gone are the days of her pudgy little legs helping her toddle over to me for a beaming after-work reception… these days she usually hides from me instead (to be fair, it’s also an endearing ritual).
I guess you can sit around missing the stuff they used to do, or enjoy the new stuff they’re doing every day. An easy choice. I’m still gonna remember fondly those things of the past though… you can’t take that from me.