When a new grandchild is on the way, a lot of sewing goes on for the baby, the nursery and often the mother-to-be. But rarely are we moved or inspired to make anything for the new father.
When my son was to become a father for the first time, I found inspiration in the waiting room on the hospital maternity floor. Laurel was not born until our third visit there, so I had plenty of time to make observations.
On our first unfruitful wait in a room of expectant grandmothers, aunts, uncles, siblings and various other family members, I grinned as an exuberant young man came bursting out of the delivery area. As his exhausted family rose from their seats, he joyously announced the safe arrival of his first child while wearing a simple white tee shirt with the words, “I’m Bradley’s father!” written in black Sharpie pen. Hugs and handshakes were exchanged all round, cameras were pulled out and flashes went off as he pointed to his broad chest with the exclamatory text.
Hmmmmm….I wish I had thought of that. Several hours later, we returned home with Shelly still pregnant and my mind racing. I had the design all worked out in my head. Could I get this done before the baby arrived? As it turned out, we had another false alarm and not until the third visit, 10 days later, was 10 lb. Laurel delivered by scheduled C-section, a full two weeks after her due date. With all that time and nervous energy, I could have embroidered shirts for the entire hospital staff.
Before Shelly was taken in to the operating room, I gave Ryan his shirt. As a charter pilot and certified flight instructor for both fixed wing and helicopters, the design fit him to a T.
After taking the baby’s footprints for identification, the nurse inked Laurel’s little feet a second time and imprinted his shirt. He was one proud papa and happy to be able to announce to the world that he was now the father of a daughter who wore a size 3 shoe. That may be a slight exaggeration, but she was one big girl.
Like all first time grandmothers, I was awestruck by the fact that my little boy was a father. After all, he was only 30!