When Daughters Grow Up To Be Mommies

Evan and MeganOf course we knew it was going to happen. It's been happening since the beginning of time. Somewhere in the world it happens every minute of every day. Wouldn't you think that something so common and routine, would be almost unremarkable? It's something we've all been part of in one way or another. It's the circle of life after all. 

And yet this common event - the birth of a baby - becomes so very personal and unique when it takes place within your family. Yes, we smile and celebrate when it happens for cousins, neighbors, coworkers and friends. But when it takes place in your immediate family - when your child becomes the parent - it's different. You feel emotions that you don't remember feeling before. You think about things you haven't thought about before. And you experience love in a way you may not have really loved before. It's an amazing experience and one that never gets old. And each time it's a little different.

Evans feet -small
Last week, on September 1st, 2011, Evan Mikhail Cunningham was born. He's healthy, beautiful, and strong. He's our fifth grandchild and my third grandson. His parents are Mik and Megan Cunningham and their home is in Los Alamos, New Mexico... 1400 miles away from mine. I've learned how to cope with being a long-distance grandpa as the first three grandchildren live in Utah and the fourth has recently moved to Colorado. That's only a minor inconvenience in the big scheme of things that life could challenge us with.

What's really different is that this is the first time that I've had a daughter become a mother. It's felt different each step along the way.

When Mik called me to ask for my blessing before inviting Megan to marry him, it was different. When I sat and talked with Megan on her wedding day and later joined her mother in walking her down the aisle, it was different.

More than a year later, when Megan called me on a wintery northwest evening to tell me that I was going to be a grandpa again, it was different too. There's something about hearing those words from your little girl that tugs at your heart in a special and different way. My mind filled with thoughts of so many little girl memories, once faded but suddenly vivid, that had been filed away with the passing of time. I held the phone and quietly listened to Megan's excitement, which was a great way to mask the emotion that I was feeling and that was coming to the surface.

Evan Stats
I remember getting a call on my cell phone in April too. That was the call when Megan told me that her baby was going to be a boy. That's something we've gotten used to. So far, every descendent of George and Laurel Brooks has had a first born son to start their family (11 out of 11 times).

And that brings us to September 1st. The baby showers were behind her. The nursery was in place. The waiting was growing long and tiresome. At her most recent check up, Megan's doctor said she was ready. Shortly after midnight, Evan decided to start his entrance into the world.

Evan face
When I woke up that morning I saw a missed call from Megan on my cell phone. She had tried to reach me a little after three a.m. But there was no message. I knew something was up. My little girl was about to become a mommy.

Things changed between the time Megan made that call and the time that Evan was born. It turned out that the little guy had made a wrong turn and was trying to back out. When the doctor realized what Evan was doing, an emergency C-section was necessary to help him see the light of day. And that was a little different too.

There have been a lot of things that I missed throughout Megan's childhood and life as a result of decisions I made and by being a long-distance dad. I wish I hadn't missed so much and I'm especially thankful for what we have now. On Thursday, I missed an important phone call too. But for that one, there's a silver lining. Her message to me, such a special one, was recorded. A good reminder of the day that my little girl's life changed again forever - The day that Evan's life began. 

Love at first sight
"Hey dad, it's me. I just wanted to call to let you know that everything went well. You have a new grandson. His name is Evan Mikhail Cunningham. He was twenty-one inches long and six pounds, ten ounces. He's just really cute and we're both doing really well. I still can't feel my feet but they're workin' on gettin' that back... But yeah! So congratulations... 'cause you're a grandpa again. 
Love you dad! Bye" 

Yes... It's something that happens every minute of every day. But not to me. 

Evan Day 1
Welcome to our family little Evan. You are going to experience many things in your life. And you will always be so very loved. 

Your mommy is my baby girl. We have her in common. We are both very blessed.