Denver Indian Center Inc.

A Baby’s Smile & the Honoring Fatherhood Program

A baby’s smile… My granddaughter is almost three months old and I’ve been blessed to watch her grow, both in person and through the wonders of Instagram and smart phone messaging. Holding her in my arms when she was only a few hours old, she gave me the prettiest smile you could imagine. Now I understand that babies that young may not have the cognitive awareness to express emotions through smiling and that most likely it’s a reflex action. Nonetheless, it meant the world to me when she flashed that brief smile. Now that she is approaching three months, with bright eyes and constant cooing, she is responding to laughter and happy talk with her own cute disarming smile and baby talk. And if cooing is any indication, she’s going to be talker! What I’ve also noticed is that she responds with smiles and body language more quickly and readily to her daddy. I’m both pleased and comforted that my son in law is protective and attentive to his baby daughter and her mom, and that is what any grandparent dreams of. He is also the primary diaper changer when he’s not at work and spending his time at home. All of this to say that children enter this world with a natural inclination and love for those spending time and taking care of them.

In our Honoring Fatherhood sessions at the Denver Indian Center, we stress the importance of taking and making time with our children. Traditionally, Indian people considered children as gifts from the Creator, giving families the responsibility of taking care and nurturing them so they grow up to become balanced human beings in harmony with themselves and those around them. We also tell our parents that the way you should spell the word LOVE is T-I-M-E. We all tend to want the best for our children, but often jobs and circumstances may limit that time we have with our kids during their formative years. For all those dads, uncles and grandpa’s out there, the Honoring Fatherhood Program at the Denver Indian Center has served nearly two-hundred parents in the past four years and unless the program is funded again by the Dept. of Health and Human Services, we will only be offering a couple more Honoring Fatherhood sessions. So, if you’re interested in hearing more about our Fatherhood program, please contact the Denver Indian Center and ask when the next class starts and ask questions you may have. Those completing the class have expressed they’ve come away with a new perspective on their role as parents…

And by the way, my granddaughter’s name is Stella Jo.


Rick Waters