I have known for a very long time that Shane would make an amazing father, but I’ll admit that I initially questioned how comfortable he’d be with the newborn phase.  He’s like a magnet for toddlers and bigger kids, with his willingness to crawl around on the floor to play cars, or to toss a ball back and forth for hours on end.  But babies typically haven’t been his specialty – he was always shy about holding our friends’ little ones, unsure he had the proper head-supporting technique or spit-up damage control.  Diaper-changing was foreign, unnerving territory.  Newborns were fragile and intimidating and unable to speak Shane’s love language of “play”.

And then Juliette was born.

Sweet Jesus, this guy is a natural.  From the moment he first took her in his arms when she was less than an hour old, his ease and grace as a father was evident.  It took all of 2 days for him to become a diaper-changing pro (though he did panic a bit when that first big blow-out left him with a poop-streaked t-shirt).  He’s king at soothing her when she’s really fired up, bouncing her on our exercise ball and crooning his silly made-up songs (Juuuuuuliette, is on the ball, bouuuuuuncing, up and down…).  And damn, he’s just really, really good at loving her.  I’m seeing this different kind of tenderness in him, this knows-no-limits selflessness and vulnerability.  When Juliette was just a few days old and waking from one her epically short naps, I watched Shane on the baby monitor as he lifted her from her bassinet, and the softness of his voice murmuring “hi baby, it’s okay…” was new and heart-achingly sweet.  Sometimes I sit and stare at the two of them together, him shushing her quietly and stroking her hair while she drifts off to sleep in his arms, and I want to laugh and cry and fall on the floor under the weight of all our blessings.  So cheers, dear papa!  I know that Juliette isn’t old enough yet to understand just how lucky she is, and I know that some days you feel like a big bouncing robot as you desperately try to get our daughter to sleep, but remember that every minute spent on that dang exercise ball, every goofy song you sing, every sweet word you whisper – they’re all forming the little girl that will one day experience the comfort and confidence that comes with knowing she is fiercely, fiercely loved.

20130924 papa sm

20130929 tummy time sm

20131002 juliette sm

20131014 papa sm

One Comment

  1. Pat says:

    I had no doubt either one of you would be awesome parents. She is one lucky little girl. As always adorable pictures!! Keep up the good job of blogging!! Love it.