I have been an uncle for almost four years.
My sister and brother-in-law have twin girls and a son who’s younger than his sisters.
I think about the days they were born every now and then, because they were days to celebrate.
When those kids were born, I was just about euphoric.
I have probably told this story here before if you were to check the archives, but the day I became an uncle euphoria served me well.
I went for a walk.
My nieces were a few weeks from arrival, or so I thought.
I got word my walk needed to end early, because it was time to go, and on the way home I sprained my ankle.
I hobbled down the road and crawled up the driveway.
Daddy was ready to go, and I couldn’t walk.
I didn’t want to miss the trip and the chance to celebrate my nieces’ entrance into the world on account of a sprained ankle so I pleaded the case to take my scooter.
The plea worked, and we started to traverse what amounted to almost the length of the country.
The girls were born while we were on the road so we stopped at a Logan’s Roadhouse somewhere in Tennessee.
I remember it well, partly because my ankle throbbed nonstop by the time we parked.
I limped across the asphalt at an even slower pace than normal, but I made it inside.
I’m pretty sure everybody could tell I could barely walk, because we were given the table nearest to the door.
It was a nice gesture, but I had another problem.
I had to pee.
The bathrooms were located just as far as they could be from where we sat, but my eyeballs were floating and the trek was unavoidable.
I started across the restaurant, and I got to the bathroom in what felt like 30 minutes.
I must have winced every step of the way, because every few feet kind people offered to help me and I had to stand still on my ankle and politely decline while I tried not to pee.
I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.
The trip would have been terrible if it hadn’t been for euphoric adrenaline and the two babies I was on my way to meet.
When we made it to the hospital, I got my scooter and went to see my nieces for the first time.
They were premature, tiny and inside isolettes in the neonatal intensive care unit.
They were beautiful.
I washed my hands more often in the first few days of their lives than I ever had before.
There were long waits in the NICU lounge, where I ate hospital cafeteria grapes and read Tuesdays With Morrie.
There was pain in my ankle.
There was a long trip home, which featured a long night in a Red Roof Inn where the only available room was at the top two flights of stairs.
It felt like I took an hour to climb them.
When I finally did, I fell in the bed and went to sleep.
It was a trip I’ll always remember.
There was a lot of pain, but two special reasons to celebrate made it unforgettable.
This post is my response to Sue’s prompt, which is “celebrate.”