And what happened then...? Well, in Who-ville they say that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day!
This isn’t to say I am now or ever was a grinch. Not exactly.
Here’s what I think happens when you become a parent. If you’re lucky enough to find a true partner in life, you figure you know what love is. You think you know the boundaries of what you’re capable of feeling.
Then you have a baby, and you exist at what you think is your very highest level of fulfillment, all the time.
But today, as we took Evan to the doctor for his first shots, I felt something I have never felt before.
My unknowingly small heart grew three sizes - at least - when we heard his ‘pain cry’ for the first time. The shots are into the muscle of each leg, and they ache quite badly afterwards.
I’ve just now gotten up after four hours of marathon cuddling, the only surefire way to give the boy the best possible sleep he can get no matter how upset or uncomfortable he is. Snoring cheek-to-bosom, his happy place. I would have rocked for ten times that long if I thought it would make him feel better.
Evan's first pain, as ordinary as it was, made us both feel the gravity, the protectiveness of parenthood. A delayed reaction. Perhaps you don't feel it at first with a newborn because you're too overwhelmed with learning to reflect.
At the risk of sounding trite, I must say: the world looks different to me now, with this new-sized heart. Lighter and darker all at the same time.