Wednesday afternoon we were off to Anaheim, California for Tami to attend and present at an educator's conference. I went to spend time with them and to take care of Enzo while Tami was at the conference. It was a perfect time for Enzo and I to be together. From Wednesday at 3pm until Monday morning at 7:30am, I was with Enzo. This was the most time I have spent with The Kid in a long while. This trip also provided the most time I have spent alone with Enzo... ever. While he still breast feeds, his ability to eat so many solid foods at this point has made it possible for us to spend long hours away on our own adventures while Tami does other things. We made the most of it. We spent a lot of time playing with blocks, making mmmmmm and baaaaaaa noises, going on walks, napping, and eating. Eating is a long processes. Tami asked what I learned about my son these four and a half days spending so much time alone with him and the biggest item on that list is that this kid loves macaroni and cheese and can eat an unbelievable mass of it compared to his total weight. This we discovered at the Rain Forest Cafe at Downtown Disney where Enzo proceeded to pack away a large bowl of mac and cheese covered in a ridiculous amount of cheese sauce. I had to slow him down on occasion to take off layers of cheese. I have no idea how he was able to get it all inside his belly.
Something this trip gave me was a lot of time to simply admire and appreciate my son. He is beautiful, smiley, happy, and a joy to watch. I was thinking about, as I have been doing recently, how cool it is that he can provide so much joy to me and thus, how cool it is that I have done the same for my mother specifically as well as for others. It makes me happy to know that at some point in my history, though I do not remember it, my smiles and noises and explorations and happiness made my mother so happy just to be near me, to love me, to watch me, and to appreciate me. I feel very good knowing that I provided this great joy for her. And I did this for others who cared about me. It's a neat feeling knowing that I did this just as my son does this now for me. How cool it is that we start out with this ability to provide such joy to others simply by being.
Another neat thought came to me at dinner tonight. Tami made her home made tortillas and I was enjoying them hot off the stove while our dinner, one of my absolute favorite Tami meals, her bean soup, was cooking. I shared some tortilla pieces with Enzo as they cooled and he was hooked. Tami's tortillas are good, so I can understand. Then I realized that right now, as Enzo eats these tortillas, Tami is in such a neat position establishing his favorites. She is practically programming our child. Anything she makes that is good is now about to become the best, the absolute measure by which others are compared. My grandma's spaghetti is delicious! No doubt about it. But I know that all others are compared to grandma's spaghetti and meatball because, while grandma's comes with love for me, it is also so much a part of my life's history. The spaghetti sauce and meatballs of others may taste good but I know that that they don't, and simply can not, truly compare to my grandma's. Grandma's are the standard of excellence to me and always will be just as my mom's Spanish rice is the standard for me. Objectively delicious and subjectively perfect. And Tami gets to do this now with Enzo. She now gets to establish, through no additional effort, the preferences of our son and the standards by which his future meals will be measured for any meal she makes well and often. I wonder if I will perfect any meals in time to have a similar effect. It's interesting to already know my son will like thick tortillas when he is older. I wonder if he will like oatmeal thick as his mom does or soupy like his father does. Time will tell.
(The Happy Lion for Halloween)