That was the text I woke up to yesterday morning. It was from my sister, Valerie, and it was sent at four am.
That’s a little early for things to be happening, I thought to myself in my early morning stupor. I was about to ask her what she was talking about when I remembered that my sister Valerie was over eight and a half months pregnant.
That is what was happening.
Then the group texts started, one of the hallmarks of modern births. One with my sisters. One that had some Aunts and Uncles. The word was that he was going to come around lunchtime. I tried to do a little work, but I kept checking my phone. Then at around 11:45, Mom wrote on one of the many group texts, “Baby on Board.”
You know, like those signs we used to put in the back windows of our cars in the hope that the person behind us would read it and not drive like a maniac when all it really did was spawn thousands of ironic signs like, “Golfer on Board” or “Clemson Fan on Board.” Or, for the more cynical among us, we'd read the signs and we'd think, "Wow. You have a baby. You're so special" as we were dressed in black, listening to The Smiths, and flicking Camel Lights out of our windows.
May or may not be based on a true story.
I went and met my nephew, baby Patrick, yesterday afternoon. I don’t think I had ever seen a human that new. Someone who that day had been inside another human. (Mind of gutter please.)
I couldn’t stop staring at him. None of us could. “We are never going to be interesting ever again,” I said to laughs of agreement.
It’s true though. He was so interesting. And cute. His tiny little eyelashes. His little mouth. His pinkie toe that curled around a little bit.
He slept mostly, but toward the end he tried to open his eyes. What must we all have looked like? How strange it all must seem.
He all held him. Passed him around like a football. And we all looked pretty natural doing it, but when we handed him back to my sister, and he put his head in the nape of her neck, it was a different type of thing. They had been through this past nine months together, the two of them. My brother-in-law has been a champion, and we’ve all been there for support, but at the end of the day, it was her and this thing inside her. This thing that was now a healthy baby boy. If I think it's weird for Patrick, it must be SUPER weird for her.
It happened all right.
When do I get to see him again?