22, 2001 - Friday
I have a very distinct visual memory from shortly after Harry was born. It's nothing particularly special on the surface, I suppose, but it has somehow stuck with me. I believe it was the first time I held Harry, although I don't remember it in that way or with any such sentimentality. It was certainly the first quiet moment I held him when the nurses were doing something with or to Harry's mother. I was off to the side of the delivery room with Harry in my arms and he was looking at me, or at least in my direction, with his newly opened eyes. Then, without moving his head or his swaddled body, he turned his eyes far to his right so they were almost completely white, with just the hint of baby blue in the corner of each eye peaking around the room.
I admit it's probably all in my head, but at that moment I think I bonded with my son. Everything before that had been surreal and he hadn't been what I had expected somehow, though I understand that's a common reaction. He was dark-skinned, almost Mediterranean, and seemingly not possibly of my lineage. But, when he turned his eyes away it was as if he were coyly checking out the room, getting his bearings, and trying to figure out what was going on. That seemed like something I'd do and I immediately comfortable with my boy.
These days, Harry rarely keeps so still. He's a hyperactive toddler and constantly fidgeting (I suppose also like his dad) and that was the case tonight as I was trying to get him to go to sleep. To help slow him down and relax, I tried to stop his constant movement by gently, by deliberately placing his hands by his side whenever he really started fidgeting in earnest. And, after a while, he settled down and let his body move toward sleep. Then, in that half-waking state when his body was finally still, I looked down at his face while rubbing his forehead and saw his eyes turn right to peak at whatever might be happening. His face is different these days, not as round, his eyes less blue and more olive colored, but for an instant it was the exact same face. My memory all over again.