Tuesday, July 12th, 2011
For the first 29 years of my life, before I became a dad, I just didn’t really “get it” when it came to babies. When someone would show me a picture of their baby, I would always compliment them, but subconsciously think, “All babies look alike.” To me, a baby was like a really expensive pet. I couldn’t yet relate to the pride a parent feels. But now I totally do.
It’s only natural to believe that your own child is the most beautiful baby ever born. Because I do. But I am also more partial to him than any other man in this world can be. Honestly though, I don’t care if he actually is the most beautiful boy on Earth. I don’t care if he ever wins a “cutest baby” contest or gets on the cover of a magazine based on his looks.
My son doesn’t necessarily look anything like me or even that much like my wife, but instead a baby version of my wife’s dad. So when I look at my son, it’s not like looking into a younger, innocent clone of myself or my wife and me combined. Admittedly, I never viewed my father-in-law as “beautiful.” Because after all, he was my father-in-law. (He passed away just a few months after my wife and I were married, back in 2008.)
So I think it’s interesting that the most beautiful boy in the world actually reminds me of a 67 year old, half-Norwegian, half-Irish man from Sacramento who loved to fish and drink good beer.
But the type of beautiful that I see my son as is not limited to just physical aesthetics or even that whole “beautiful on the inside, too” deal. It is a deeper, spiritual, eternal kind of beauty that I can’t describe in any other way. His beauty is not limited to his unexpected hair and eye color or skin tone. Nor is it confined to his innocent, playful personality.
So now when people show me pictures of their kids, the most appropriate response comes natural to me. It means something when I say, “That’s a good lookin’ kid you got there.” I understand now what I never could before as a babyless dude.
When it comes to parenting, beauty is not in the eye of the beholder: Beauty is in the shared heart between a parent and their child.
You’re welcome, Hallmark.
Photos courtesy of Moments in Time Photography in Fort Payne, Alabama:Add a Comment