17 days

Yesterday we had another first. We took Sebastian to his first Mexican restaurant. It was about 4 in the afternoon and there was hardly anybody there, and so we sat in a booth and put him and his carseat on the table. He was 17 days old and I’ve never wished for a miniature sombrero so much in my life.

We also took him into Target for the first time. Earlier in the day, we had gone to visit the Baptist hospital lactation consultants. Over the course of that two-hour meeting, he had eaten more formula and breastmilk than he’s used to. And so on the way to Target, he decided it would be a good idea to have a poop-blowout in his carseat. So when we got there it took us about 20 minutes to clean him and the carseat. It was everywhere, all over his body, in his hair.

Once he was clean, Michelle put him in a peanut-shell sling and as we were walking in (keep in mind I am holding a dirty diaper wad and about 50 dirty wipes), I heard someone shouting out that I should get a styrofoam container to put it all in. Which I thought was a strange thing for someone to say, then we turned and it was our friend Jared driving by. So he was our first heckler :)

Walking through Target with the little guy was so surreal. For me at least. For Michelle it felt perfectly natural, especially while he was close to her in the sling. Afterall, she’d been carrying him like that for over nine months, just on the inside. There I was with the diaper bag slung over my shoulder for the first time, in kind of a daze thinking we’re here, and we have this wonderful little secret tucked away in a sling.

Walking out to the car we saw one of our old friends who we hadn’t seen since my Crema opening in February. At first he didn’t even believe that there was a baby in the sling until Michelle showed him. Then after a time, he told us that he had some bad news, that his dad had passed away the day before. At first, both Michelle and I thought he might be joking (why would he joke about that? We used to joke about everything, but probably not about that … I think we were just amazed that he was still standing after something like that). But no, he was not joking, and proceeded to tell us the heartbreaking story of his dad’s journey, his chemo, his pain, and even the last time he opened his eyes.

I don’t think it was an accident we ran into each other the day after his father’s passing. Here I was, having known him for the past eight years and just having become a father myself, and here he was on the other  side of it, having just experienced the loss of his daddy. So last night I allowed myself to do something I’d dreamed about for months … I fell asleep on the couch holding Sebastian tightly in my arms. Life is going to trod by so quickly for us, and I want to stop letting myself pass up these rare moments with my son and with my wife, simple specs of time where we can just enjoy each other in these pure moments of bliss.

  • Jared said:

    Man. I had no idea you were carrying a dirty diaper. I didn't even notice it. "Be careful with that load" was referring to Sebastian.

    My timing is impeccable, as always.

    Your "chance" meeting with your friend on your way out (and my boneheaded heckling of you beforehand) is a great reminder to treat everyone with kindness, because everyone is fighting an unseen battle.
    Some (much) more difficult than others, of course.

    Blessings on you guys and your family.

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