I am totally head-over-heels in love with Alex Manna. I think he is adorable – his cheeks are the most kissable I’ve ever seen and he smells just like a baby should. He cuddles with me, falling asleep on my chest. He makes faces that melt my heart – the surprised look when he realizes he’s going to get to eat, the look as he tries to register what he’s seeing. And he smiles, although probably not at me, right before he falls asleep.
Justin, however, sees a very different baby – The Grump. He sees the face of an angry old man, a constant scowl. He focuses on how Alex really is a Manna, preferring to pace and unable to be still for any prolonged period unless he’s asleep. And maybe he’s a little accurate, but who wouldn’t be a little grumpy after being born?
It has to be hard for Justin, though. Or for any dad, really. I spent nine months with this child growing inside me; I knew him before anyone else did. I felt his first movements long before Justin was able to. Alex was physically attached to me, dependent on me for survival. And the most Justin could do was put a hand on my belly, hoping to be graced with a kick.
Even now, three-and-a-half weeks later, I am still the most important person in Alex’s world: I provide the food. Sure, Justin gives Alex bottles of pumped milk and changes diapers and gives baths and paces the floor to keep him happy between naps. But it’s not the same – there are no googlie eyes for Justin like there are for me. Alex doesn’t get excited to see Justin because, well, Justin has nothing to offer him. Yet.
There is going to come a time when Justin is Alex’s hero, when he is the fun one. For now, though, I’m going to relish my sweet baby and my opportunity to be his most important person.