With My Baby

A dad, a delivery room; a video, an unexpected memory.

I stumble across the video file in a folder labeled “Seth’s Birth,” somewhere in the depths of my cluttered hard disk. I don’t remember this video, I think, clicking on it.

The computer’s tinny speakers come alive with sounds of the delivery room. There’s Seth — all 9 pounds, 6 ounces of him — bundled up and fussing quietly and snuggled against my exhausted wife’s chest.

She doesn’t seem to know that I’m using our digital camera to shoot video. She’s humming “Hush Little Baby” and rocking slightly in her bed; she glances up at me with a heart-melting look of relief and pride and infatuation.

And for just a moment, I forget that Seth is almost a year old, crawling now and trying to learn his first words. For an instant, I can smell the blend of hospital antiseptic and sweet newborn skin. I’m there, with my wife and with my baby.

Article © 2008 by Michael Duck