On The First Time Huck Was Huck
I’d heard it said before, that every baby comes with a distinct personality straight from the womb. Who they are at two is who they are at twelve is who they are at five minutes past birth. I know this to be true from personal experience, but it doesn’t make it any less impossible to believe. Once that little person is there in the room with you, and you’ve realized that as new as he is, he really has always been there all along, it’s like the most marvelous little surprise unravels before you. This little personality with all these likes and dislikes and a very distinct sense of humor… It’s kind of the most wonderful part of being a parent, if you ask me.
I knew who my Huck was the second I saw him. It was like I was seeing all of him in one huge moment, in one giant inhale. And then on we went, as if we had always been our little duo. Just us two. Maybe we always had been? Who can tell. But I do remember the moment when Huck first looked like Huck. It caught me so off guard.
We were goofing off on the bed after a diaper change one early morning as the sun was streaming through the window when Huck looked at me with this look on his face and I saw him. I saw how he’d look the rest of his life. It was amazing and heartbreaking and wonderful and sweet. I held the camera up to my face and held my breath. Click. And there he was.
Babies change so rapidly. So terribly, horribly quickly. Scrawny stages give way to chubby stages, infant acne and cradle cap is gone all too soon revealing smooth cheeks and sweet peach fuzz… and then one day you are staring at a teenager. And you shout at him to stop growing and he just thinks it’s funny. Nothing is going to stop him. You just gotta keep your eyes open, man. You just can’t blink for a second.