I have been witness to two births in my lifetime...both of those births were MY babies.
The latter of these two births was the delivery of my own child; a beautiful, natural home-birth that I would relive in a second if I had to.
The first of these births was quite different...well, for me at least. I was 6 and it was bedtime. My mom had been having contractions for a while, and I was fully aware of what was happening. As a childbirth guru, my mom had given me"the talk" when she got pregnant with my brother. Her philosophy was "if she's old enough to ask intelligible questions, she'll get intelligible answers". I went to bed that night somewhat reluctantly, but was promised by my nana that as soon as things progressed, she would wake me up.
I think it was important to my mom that I was there. She wanted me to see how childbirth is a beautiful thing, not terrifying and highly medical like our current world tells us it should be. But I think she must have known how important those first few moments as a family would be; how important they would be to me for the rest of my life.
Being her second child, the delivery was apparently much easier than the first. Nana came and got me, as promised, and I quickly made my way back to the bedroom. For months now, I'd been anticipating this moment; anticipating the entry of my baby sister. I was curious, excited, nervous and really, really ready to have a dress-up buddy.
I sat there in mom's bedroom floor (coaching her the entire time: "OH I can see its head! Wait, now I can't...mommy push harder! The baby is disappearing!"), waiting anxiously to hold this little ball of goo. A few minutes later, out HE popped...red hair, boy parts and all. After all the essential checks, they handed me the baby and said very apologetically, "Kacey, we're sorry you got a stinky little boy". Immediately and very defensively I replied, "DON'T YOU TALK ABOUT MY BABY LIKE THAT!!!"
And it has been that way ever since. Oh sure, I still made him play dress-up with me, but I wouldn't trade a single moment I've shared with MY baby brother. He's a blessing, to me and to everyone he meets. He's been a playmate, a confidant, and a friend.
Today that baby turns 18. Good grief I'm old.
Kev, I love you and I'm terribly proud of who you are, who you are choosing to be, and the man that you are becoming. Happy birthday!