Creative Control

Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist


As of about 90 minutes ago, Robin, you have existed in this world for exactly three months.

We were told that this would go quickly and our memory of these months would be hazy, but your father has a strange relationship with both memory and time, blessed with a keen sense of the former and cursed with an obsession for the latter. I do not necessarily remember every minute in detail but I remember that there were details in the minutes, your breaths and sighs and hundred other sounds trapped in miniature raindrops, hanging in the air, able to be plucked like grapes and tasted; sweet or sour or something indescribable.

I can see how you’ve grown and developed since we first beheld you, and what I feel is both surprise and not surprise at all. Of course that is the shape of your smile. Of course that is the way your fingers splay and clench, the way your eyes fixate on your fist. Of course that will be your personality, as it emerges. You are a hallway of veils, each pulled back at the moments of your choosing, and the silhouetted shapes we could almost perceive behind each of them reveal themselves to be what we hoped they would be and so much better than we could have imagined.

You chatter and you laugh and you are silent and you cry, obviously you cry, you must cry, that is what you have now, that is the most powerful voice you have in your arsenal. And I have spent three months deciphering your cries, as other parents have done for their own miraculous beings, pitting our powers of deduction against the growing roar of your discontent, discovering unexpected, clockmaker and safecracker powers of manipulation within our fingertips, employed to preparing bottles of formula or replacing soiled diapers.

You have changed in three months and I have changed along with you, as is the unspoken contract between us, but you have also made me more myself than I might otherwise have become without you. My empathy is more defined, my fight more spirited. I look at the world less as something I will leave behind and more as something I will leave behind to you, and that distinction is its own declaration.

You cry, and in three months’ time I have come to understand that the trick is not to figure out how to make you stop crying. You are not the problem. You are not what needs to be stopped. The trick is always to change the world into a place that doesn’t make you want to cry.

I’m working on it, kiddo. We’ll see how well I’m doing in another three months.

Love, but I’d hope you’d know that, Dad.

Current Music: “Mykonos,” Fleet Foxes

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This entry was posted on April 22, 2012 by in Fatherhood, Love.
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