GRAND Magazine - May/June 2019 - 42

memories and moments

Story of birth
BY ROBIN ROKISKY

T

his is a story of birth. I was not giving birth. I was awaiting birth. It was
late - or early, if you prefer - after midnight, and into the new hour of a
new birthdate. The hospital was quiet, as all other families awaiting birth
had come and gone. We remained, some of us sleeping on couches in the waiting area hallway, and some camped directly on the floor. Suddenly, distant but
distinct dings of sound began to emerge and break the stuffy silence. Our cell
phones were all receiving a picture. Each of us scrambled to locate our device,
open it, and stare intently at the screen. The image is one I will never forget. My
son is looking into the camera, while holding his arm out to take the self-portrait.
In his other arm, he holds a tiny baby boy, wrapped soundly in a hospital-issued,
fuzzy white blanket. He is here, in the world, as we had long imagined him to
be! His expression contains an element of shock and disturbance - surely the
light and commotion of birth have not been quite what he has been used to. But
he is finally here, and we cannot scrutinize him enough. Our heads are bent to
our screens, drawing in as much detail as we can extricate from the tiny, bright
figure. Who does he look like, how long is he, how much does he weigh? But it
is the other face in the picture that strikes my heart with a sharp pang of feeling. My grown son: now a man and now a father. His eyes, full of excitement and
astonishment, are moist with emotion. Yes, his son is finally here. But he has also
just experienced the birth of fatherhood, and now he will no longer be a boy
who has grown older. Now he has become a father and will be forever changed.
Next to me stands my husband, who is suddenly a grandfather, and my daughter, an aunt. And then, as my gaze travels from my son's glistening eyes to his
son's startled eyes, I think of the wonder of a newborn soul in this world, and
realize another understanding: the birth of a grandmother.
Robin Rokisky is a writer from West Virginia with
three children and two grandchildren. She and her
husband enjoy traveling, gardening, cooking, and
making joyful memories with their family.

42 GRAND

MAY JUNE 2019


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GRAND Magazine - May/June 2019

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