I must have somehow finally developed the "parent gene," the sleeping one. Rhys has been coughing most of the night. It kept me from sleeping, earlier last night. I could hear him hacking away in his bedroom, his little sporadic convulsions. I worried. Then, he eventually calmed down enough to go to sleep, as did I. At some point in the night, as he often does, he came to sleep in my bed. I pulled him up and in, covered him with comforter and went back to sleep. I awoke a few hours later to discover that he was still regularly coughing, but that's not what woke me up. I sit here listening to it now in wonder.
I am a very light sleeper. Almost anything will wake me up. It seems impossible that he was lying next to me, coughing all night and I slept through it.
It's what happens to men, I guess. They eventually become more like women. I don't actually "guess." I am certain of it. Men's estrogen levels increase as they age, just as women's testosterone levels do. It is part of the reason why women find men more attractive as they get older, but rarely is the opposite true. Women take on some of the qualities that they claim to dislike about men, and call it "strength." Men take on some of the qualities that women have claimed were superior to others.
Nature is savage, calculated.
My point being that I am beginning to notice many little indicators of how I am becoming a more complete parent. I sleep like a mother watching her pup. I hadn't set out with that as a goal, but it has happened, little by little. By next year I'll be able to fetch a ball, maybe catch a frisbee in mid-air, poop in the backyard, etc.
I would be lying if I didn't include the obvious fact that Rhys has become much easier to parent. His first two years were very different than this one, though there were months in which I cared for him then, also. I have been told that it will all just get easier, for a little while.
Read the comments section from yesterday's post for somebody else's take on the struggle. I imagine that some readers here must be bored witless to continue hearing of my experiences as a father.
At least one pair of eyes within me is always exaggeratedly rolling. If you pretend to be something for long enough then you eventually might become it. It works for many things, love and happiness excluded. There are few convincing imitations of happiness, too many of love. Some delusions seem so much less cruel than others.