He nuzzled up against his son. Their noses touching. Todd’s normally infectious grin came from somewhere deeper than just happiness. This smile was straight from the heart, from deep in the soul. His eyes twinkled; not with mischief or teasing, but with love and joy. No one would’ve guessed the sleep deprivation. (He was still catching up from the solid 30 sleepless hours just five days earlier.)
His was a smile that came from being a father.
She sat on the corner of her bed, applying a few last touches of makeup and watching the extended family gently rocking her baby. Marcela didn’t need makeup; her beauty came not only from the glowing smile and twinkling eyes, it also radiated around the room. She reached over and took her son. Her Jacob. Her baby. The one whom she’d waited the past months to be able to meet. Holding him gently, tenderly, she cradled his little fingers and kissed them one by one.
Todd couldn’t wait any longer. He wanted a turn with his son. His baby. His Jacob. He hugged him to his chest, laughing when Jacob pulled his neck back and tried to see around the room. Jacob fell asleep again, of course, and still Todd rocked him. Loved him. Held him.
“They say having a child changes you,” he said. He was marveling at his son… gazing at that little nose… those perfect little toes… that pouting little mouth. “Everyone was right. I took one look at him and suddenly just wanted to just go change the world, get rid of all the bad guys, and come back to hug my son. I don’t want him to ever have to deal with anything evil.”
He gentled pulled his son closer, raised him for a kiss on the cheek.
“Its like the first time you ever try a Wintergreen Lifesaver. Someone hands you the mint and you pop it in your mouth but you’re not really sure what to expect. But almost immediately you have that burst of fresh, exciting flavor. Its exploding in your mouth. Your world is forever changed. And that’s okay.”