i‘m usually the last one up at my house. despite being just a couple of years short of 30, my day/night patterns still resemble those of a college student in many ways. actually, i was a night owl long before college. i’ve tried to break these habits, particularly since amy is wired so differently. i think i’ve improved overall, but i don’t know that an early bedtime or crack-o-dawn rising will ever come naturally. back to my point — typically amy and aiden are already up and going when i stumble out of the bedroom to get ready for work. this week has been different, mainly because they’re both sick and adjusting their internal clocks after a week on the west coast. this morning i was getting dressed in aiden’s room (we share a closet) and he awoke as i stood watching him. he’s six and half months old now, and he’s full of life, laughs, language (most of it revolves around this phrase: DA-DA-DA-DA-DA-DA), and all kinds of new tricks. we’re constantly amazed at how much more we can love him every time we look at him. this morning was a gift in that way. i watched him gradually emerge from a long night’s sleep, first looking annoyed to be waking (guess where he got that), then confused, then utterly delighted to see his dad standing next to him. the smiles and the “words” that he shared in that moment made it nearly impossible for me to leave for work, and they have also kept me going today. though babies are terribly selfish, they’re also more capable of loving the most unlovely of people in the most innocent ways. if you’re a parent, you get this, and if you’re not, i hope you will someday. he may scream at me when he’s hungry or when i use that hideous nose-sucker thing to perform snot surgery on him, but he loves me just because i’m his dad. i hope i don’t ever give him any reason to reconsider.