More than once, I’ve read that babies at this stage have no memory of the past and no concept of the future. Even when they get older, babies don't understand that something can exist when it is out of their sight. Hide a toy behind your back and to their mind, it just ceased to exist. Their brains need time to develop an understanding that a world exists beyond what’s right in front of them. We all do, really. Even as adults, it takes time for us to get used to change (How many times will we all write “2010” by mistake over the next few weeks?) Linda and I had a brush with this idea tonight. It started this morning, when Linda surprised me with a note – supposedly from Violet – telling me that mommy (Linda) would be taking me to the movies this afternoon for my birthday. Grandma would be coming over to watch the baby while we were gone. So, it was to be our first time going out without Violet. Linda did well. I thought she might cry when we left. She had, in fact, warned me in weeks past that she probably would, but every time I looked over at her in the car, she would flash me a pretend toothy smile. During the movie, I would lose myself in the story and I would forget about my life and the real world for a time. Then, suddenly, I would be flooded with the warm recollection that Violet was waiting for us at home. That I’m a father. I felt a little guilty about “forgetting” it, but Linda brought it up on the way home. “Violet’s so new, she doesn’t seem real when we’re away from her.” I imagine that six months from now, there will be a certain amount of comfort in having Violet’s presence ingrained in my neural pathways, that I’ll be aware of her even when I’m not thinking about her, but I think I’ll miss this time, too.
39 days old