The last time a baby was born into our family, I wasn't quite as involved as I am this time. It was twenty-two years ago, and I didn't even live in the same town. There was no waiting by the phone for me then, and I didn't make it to the hospital that fateful day. It wasn't that I wasn't interested; it was just the way things were at the time.
This time it's as if I'm waiting to hear I won the sweepstakes. I never really cared before that I didn't have a cell phone, but right now one would come in handy. I don't want to stray too far from communications central. I'm waiting for an important call, and I'd be unhappy if I missed it.
Maybe having missed out on previous births helps make this one so special to me. And maybe part of the reason is that the child born then, the last time, is the father of the child about to make his appearance in our lives. I'm only this baby's great uncle, so I'm thankful that I'm allowed to be on the first-call list.