In those first few years after Mr. X and I were married, there were times when I would find myself looking at him thinking, “Who is this guy and how did we get here?” For as much as I knew him, physically, emotionally, intellectually, he was still sometimes this strange person in my house who I didn’t recognize from my former life.
If I had those moments with a man who I knew for three years before I married him, then you can only imagine how many of those moments I am having with Rex. Let’s just say lots. Part of the difficulty is that I have a hard time seeing me in him. He is the spitting image of his father at this age. I knew even on the 18-week ultrasound who he took after in the looks department. Seriously. The chin, the profile, it was Mr. X, which of course prompted a little IVF humor – at least we know they didn’t use the wrong sperm!
Even now, at almost 8 months, Rex is a bit of a mystery to me. I’m still having a hard time reconciling the baby I knew for 9 months on the ultrasound screen, and then later through the belly Olympics to the one who is starting to crawl and wants to eat the dog’s tail. He is his own little person who is slowly, but surely, developing his own personality. The good news is that it looks like it’s a wonderful personality that is a joy to see emerging each day a little more. And, he is starting to have a sense of humor, playing peek-a-boo or giggling while being tickled (his baby love handles are a particularly fertile spot for giggle induction). I’m also starting to see me in him, particularly the eyes.
While this getting-to-know-you phase still sometimes makes me panic – oh my God! I’m sharing my home with this little strange alien creature who shrieks and emits foul smells and it feels like it’s going to be this way for the next 17 1/2 years! – I’m making a concerted effort to take a more positive spin on the situation: he’s like a gift that we are slowly unwrapping; a flower blooming; a volcano erupting (er, or maybe not). Each day, we find something new.
We are getting to know each other as people do. I have to remind myself that he is getting to know us (and all of human kind at the same time), too. So far, he’s doing a pretty darn good job of it. I know that sooner rather than later, it will seem as if we have known each other forever and that was the way it was always meant to be.