I was so excited, I even cried a bit. Okay - a lot. My little brother was an easy awesome Uncle. I always knew he would be. He plays airplanes with Cole and fire fighters and he will sit and dig holes in the sandbox for hours on end. And Michelle and Jay make room in their busy lives for family dinners at our place on a very regular basis. But now my little brother is going to have a little family of his own. And being a dad is a totally different business than being an uncle.
Birth order has dictated that I always took care of my siblings. I was older and I SO mature for my age, and also very bossy. So I thought I'd be a shoe-in for being a parent, but still the transition was tough for me. So then I wondered about my little brother. Who has he taken care of? And then I thought back to each and every time he got up early at my mother's to mow the lawn, or trim the shrubs, or put up Christmas tree lights so we wouldn't go up on the roof, or push a car out of the driveway or get it unstuck from a ditch because someone coasted down the Sherbrooke hill in bad weather. I think of how he fixes all our electronic gadgets, how he calls to check in, how he blocks the dogs from jumping up on Michelle. And it hit me - Jay takes care of everyone!
But most of all, I think of how Jay took care of poor, decrepit old Sylvie. The dog who wouldn't quit. The one who jumped out of the window of our sun porch. The one who's breath could stop a train and who's gas could probably melt the ice caps. I thought about how many times she threw up and he cleaned it up (a few thousand). I thought of how she had accidents all over the house and how he protected her and cared for her and loved her despite it all. And that's kind of what is going to make him a great dad.
How is this like parenting? To be quite frank, in the first few months, parenting can be quite gross. It's a lot of give and not a lot of immediate reward. (I know some might disagree, but this is MY blog so you get MY perspective!) And Jay is going to be an incredible Dad for so many, many reasons, but especially in those early months because he is good at doing the yucky jobs, the really awful jobs, the ones that need to be done but no one wants to do. He will do them simply because someone's got to do them and because he's got a big heart and he loves people in a big way too. So when barf and snot and drool and crying and screaming and other unspeakables happen, Jay is going to get 'er done out of love for his baby and also for his tired wife and that is what being a father of a newborn is all about.