maggie is the baby.
side note: my brother, andrew, actually came up with the idea to name her maggie after watching the simpsons . now that's classy.
when you're the youngest of a large family, you don't really do much for yourself. you are babied by everyone. someone eventually teaches you to read, and write your name, and how to steal the very best snacks from the pantry.
your sisters tell you that you'll die if you don't learn how to dive by the time you're in preschool. and how will you survive if you don't know how to do a back flip on the trampoline? everyone can do a back flip on the trampoline in kindergarten. duh.
your brothers will teach you how to drink alcohol and sneak out. and then sneak in. and then get caught. and get grounded for the rest of your life!
so when the baby of the family got pregnant, accidentally, no one knew what to do. except go with it. dad says, babies come into the world all different ways. some are planned and some are not.
and we shrug shoulders and say, you can do this. because you have to do this. or do you want me to adopt your baby? wait, why are you looking at me weird. i'm serious, you're my only chance for a blond haired blue eyed baby. no? ok. fine. be responsible! what do i care!
we waited all day. some of my brothers came up to "help" and ended up being stupid. as usual.
my dad desperately wanted to videotape the whole things with his new camera because i can produce a slide show on the wall with this thing! with music!
heinous. no. you're kicked out. this is not a greek festival.
but it was. my dad and brothers and the other grandpa found and empty room across the hall and occupied it. projecting video slideshows, drinking wine, and being annoying. they were hated by the night nurses. it may be true that unkind words were said as we walked out later that night. but whatever. i'm sorry for my overly excited greek family. that happens to not be greek at all. except in their hearts.
anyway, i could tell that maggie was scared. she started crying when it got closer to pushing.
i don't know why i'm crying.
i try really hard not to cry because if i cry then mom cries and then a kitten somewhere dies. it's ok mags. it's scary having a baby. i cry every time. it's normal. you're going to meet your baby soon. it's going to be great. here, have a peanut m&m, you need energy. quickly chew though, the nurse is coming.
my mom just watches over maggie, pacing around and rubbing her back and her hands. i wonder what that feels like. watching your baby have a baby. i watch my moms hands stroke her hair. i bet you need more ice chips.
and my sister, audrey was out of town. so we called her and put her on speaker. she said a lot of wrong things at the wrong time, but what can you do when you can't see people react to your bad jokes. i turned the volume down.
maggie pushed like a champ. the doctor was late. they wanted her to wait. and wait. and the baby was practically out. my mom and i were whispering, it's ok. just push. you're in a hospital.
that really got us on the wrong side of the nurses. but we're rebels like that.
and then the baby came. and just like that a new human cried itself into the world. i hid behind my lens and cried. maggie saw the baby and cried and i could see that the emotions surprised her.
in that moment, my baby sister grew up. her life changed and everyone saw it.
we made this, she laugh-cried with surprise. it was finally real. the baby in her belly was real and
she felt the weight and exhilaration of becoming a parent.
those feelings rushed over me as i remembered seeing layne for the first time. exhaustion and joy. pain and surprise. intense love and bewilderment at a tiny human.
welcome to the life of a parent, maggie. those feelings never change, i hear. not ever. enjoy that sweet peanut. you will be such a great mother. and welcome charlie! (it's a girl)