the gregarious homebody


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Brown-Eyed Boy


This is a picture of the first baby I ever saw, 
live and up close, come into the world.

It's a day I'll never forget.  

I was 16 years old and his mom was living with us
because his dad (my brother) was in the Navy and overseas somewhere.
I got to see first-hand how her stomach grew, how much she anticipated
this little life that would forever change hers.

I can remember being in school towards the end of her pregnancy and thinking
Is this the day?
Will I meet my nephew or niece today?
The plan was for my mom to be her coach.  
I was just along for the ride because I asked to be 
and because my sister-in-law is such a nice person.

I think now about how alone she must have felt.  
How her baby's daddy was so far away 
and she was far away from her own family.

She felt like the sister I always wanted, 
living with me, sharing my life.
 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After sitting around the hospital for awhile 
(a day off from school-bonus!!) 
the time  was finally here.
We suited up in scrubs and hair covers.  
My sister-in-law was so tired and I realize now, scared.

We gathered around her in the delivery room, trying to comfort and encourage her.  
At least that's what I was trying to do.  I think I was scared at this point too.

Her doctor was so kind, encouraging her and comforting her. 
He took a look at me, useless and nervous, and said, 

"Why don't you come and have a seat by me?"

For as long as I live I will never forget seeing the his little dark curl of hair.

"What's that?" I asked.
"The baby's head," the doctor replied.

I burst into tears and so did everyone else in the delivery room---
jaded, seen-it-all nurses, 
my mom, 
the doctor, 
and of course, my sister-in-law.

A few months later with that little baby in a stroller with me at the mall, 
I told everyone who stopped to admire him  
that he was mine.
----------------------------------------------------------------

 This is a picture of that baby 
with his wife.

That is something to give one pause.

The girl and I spent a long weekend in San Antonio
so we could go to his wedding.
It was beautiful--beautiful bride, beautiful setting, her beautiful family...
and one very very nervous groom.
At first I didn't understand, exactly.
Everything went well.
Nothing went wrong.
The vows were said, the music played.
He was married to the girl he loved 
and he was still so nervous.
Have I mentioned that this "boy" is a Marine
and just graduated from 
demolition school?

I think what happened is that everything finally hit him:
 He no longer lives for himself.
He's got someone expecting things of him,
counting on him,
and supporting him too.
That's pretty daunting even without the pending tour of duty in Afghanistan.

He's only 24 years old but he's had a challenging life.
I wish I'd been there for him more and I tried to be
but I was busy building my own life.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here's what I know about him:

He is smart.
He is dedicated.
He is kind.

Here's what I wish for him:

That he has stability.
That he has support.
That he has joy.
That he is safe.
That he has a family.


 I can't wait to get to know him as the man he has become.    

4 comments:

mamacita said...

Love, love, love that story. I was in the delivery room when my niece was born. That is an amazing moment: "Oh my God, it's a real live baby in there!"

[But you should have called if you were going to San Antonio! I'm allowed out of the house every now and then.]

jen said...

I know! Next time I will. We had a very short time to pack a lot of stuff in.

Rovianne said...

I loved this story! As someone who has loved other peoples children all my life, I can totally relate. And I was also in the delivery room when my first nephew came into the world. I remember the emotion and I kept thinking, "My baby brother is someones daddy!" Thanks for sharing your thoughts. And my God Bless this young soldier! ~Rovianne

Yours Truly said...

I don't know you...i just found your blog. That was beautiful.

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