Friday, October 14, 2011

Of Three-Month-Old Babies, Object Permanence, Memory, and Deployment

How much can a three- to four-month-old really comprehend about deployment?

Daddy is here. Every day. Playing with me, talking to me, taking care of me.

Then he's not.

He disappears for a quarter of my post-womb life.

I wasn't sure how Damien would handle this separation. After all, aren't babies this young supposed to think that if something is out of sight, then it no longer exists? (aka object permanence)

Do three-month-olds even remember someone or something they haven't seen for a month?

Well, Daddy came home this week.

It wasn't a true deployment - he was gone a month. He left not too long after Damien turned three months old.

The homecoming was beautiful.

Damien had just woken up from a brief nap. Slightly dazed, we waited under a tree while a sea of people in blue digital uniforms flooded past us out of the terminal.

When Damien saw his Daddy come kneel down in front of us to say hello, first a huge, shy smile covered his face.

Then he laughed. He laughed nearly every time he looked at him for the next half hour.

Finally, we got home. Daddy went to say hello some more, and Damien reached out towards him with both hands. He put a hand on each of Daddy's cheeks. Then he pulled his head towards himself and started kissing (er, licking) Daddy's face.

It was perfect.

And, babies are amazing.

"To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant" 
Luke 1:72
Damien is 4 months, 1 week old [19 weeks]

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