Today was one of the first days in a very long while that I spoke to my father and he sounded genuinely happy. It was a rare, clear, fully positive conversation and today,
there is great reason to celebrate.
My younger sister delivered her first child yesterday. (The most important point of all of this, just in case it is missed, is that I am now, officially, an auntie!) She worked through a long, difficult delivery with her husband by her side. As I worried about her and her daughter, I felt helpless. This was the first time since I have known her that I couldn’t show her what to do, tell her what happened when I did it, make jokes about how I messed it up or relate anything personal to her experience.
It was all new and I could not help her in any way.
As part of many proud moments that occurred yesterday, she did not need me at all. Her husband was by her side, every step of the way from her water breaking to the delivery approximately 36 hours later. In her recovery room I watched a brand new dad sooth and swaddle and change diapers. I was proud to see him do so well. He praised my sister’s hard work, endurance and tenacity. I was again proud she chose her life partner so well. I felt so lucky to witness a new family on their first day together. I was proud to visit them with my husband who is such a good, patient person who does amazing work. I was pleased to see messages from friends who are fathers who were checking in to make sure my sister was ok and that I was ok. It was nice to know that these kind, attentive men—with or without children—will be celebrating today. Some will spend time with their children, some will make time for their fathers and some will be fortunate enough to do both.