It's just you and I sitting in the squeaky, hand-me down rocking chair, the same way it's been approximately seven thousand times since you were born five months ago. It's just you and I. The house is still and quiet. We're rocking back and forth, back and forth while you gulp down a 6 ounce bottle as if you haven't eaten in days. Occasionally you stop, glance up at me, and I see you smile around the nipple of the bottle. But then you're right back to eating and I'm right back to rocking.
It's in this stillness of the middle of the night that my mind begins to wander towards the future. There are so many questions I have, some more immediate: will I ever get a full night sleep again? Some more distant: will you and your brother always be in each other's lives?
But mostly, I think about you. Who you'll be, what you were put on this earth to do, how I can make you into the man you're destined to be. Things like:
- Will you be stubborn and independent, like me? Will you make friends easily and everywhere you go, like your dad?
- Will you grow up to follow your passions? Or will you go for the more responsible job?
- Will you be the creative type? Or the more scientific type?
- Will you love freely? Or be more reserved?
- Will you continue to think your big brother hung the moon? Or will you both drift apart?
- Will you come to me with problems?
- Will you hold doors, say please and thank you, and offer your coat to those who are cold?
These are the questions I think about as I look down into the big blue eyes that look so much like mine, so much like your brother's. At five months old, you're just beginning to form your personality. And as we sit here on the worn blanket with the ocean sounds streaming from your sound machine, I can't help but wonder what that personality will change into and who Harrison Karl Hartley will be later in life.
But because there are no answers yet, we'll continue to rock back and forth, back and forth until your eyes start to droop, until your gulping slows to a sip, and until your body relaxes more freely into mine as you sigh back into sleep.