They’d be the first to admit they are more adept at handing off a football versus a tiny human being, but during the last week they’ve certainly given the latter their best efforts.
At exactly two minutes before midnight on a recent Sunday, soon-to-be Monday, my three sons became instant uncles. Their excitement and curiosity regarding the whole process has been interesting (to say the least).
Early on Sunday morning, they were all aware that their very-pregnant sister had gone into the hospital and the possibility of a baby was imminent. As a group they were inquisitive, eager, concerned and excited. However, each of the boys took his own unique approach to the situation.
One went golfing, saying he’d just do nine holes instead of 18 so he could be home in time to meet the baby – just the first of many sacrifices he’ll make as an uncle, I’m sure.
Another worried out loud about his sister, the baby and whether everything would go as planned. He grew more quiet and thoughtful as the day lingered on.
The third spent the day Googling various labor and birth-related topics, sharing bits and pieces of his new-found information with the rest of the family — knowledge is power.
The golfer returned from his outing and still there was no baby. He probably could have done 18 after all.
Why was this baby taking so long to get here? Impatience lingered in the air.
Day faded into night and the worrier and Googler opted to go to bed and try to sleep. I don’t think they were successful, but their aim was an attempt at normalcy. The golfing son was in it for the long haul, determined to wait it out until baby arrived.
Arrive she did at 11:58 p.m. and although they all were beyond eager to meet her, each took his own approach toward the newest member of our family when we made our first visit that next morning.
Two of them fought over the right to be first uncle to hold her. After a quick round of rock-paper-scissors, Google won out over golf. They all expressed amazement at her tiny hands and firm grip on their now seemingly enormous index fingers.
They gushed over her. “She’s strong for being so little.” “Look at her baby fingernails!” “Her ears are so tiny!” She dozed like an exhausted newborn in their arms and they were impressed and in love. Their awe and amazement was undeniable. Even and especially from the son who opted to hold her last.
When it came his turn, he sat down and made a crook in his arms like he’d seen his other brothers do. Another brother gingerly lowered her and they completed the hand-off with a tender loving care I’d not previously witnessed and didn’t know they were capable of. In their eyes, she was as delicate as a newborn and they treated her as such: treasured and fragile.
The last son holding worried she might not be comfortable in his arms. He worried about doing something that might make her cry. Oh please, don’t let her cry! He’s never been an uncle before and newness can be unsettling. She slept right through his consternations.
At one point she wrinkled her nose and then her lips rose at the edges in what looked suspiciously like a smile. His face lit up. His shoulders relaxed and he settled more comfortably into his chair. Maybe this baby holding gig wasn’t so scary after all.
“She smiled already and she’s not even a day old!” More gushing ensued.
I didn’t have the heart to tell him it was probably gas.
To put it mildly, we are all in love.
Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright, author and member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Don’t miss a slice; follow the Slices of Life page on Facebook.