My 22-year-old cousin is now a father. His girlfriend gave birth to a healthy, 6.2-pound baby boy yesterday. It was all everybody at home could talk about, especially my paternal grandmother. At just 68 she already has a great grandchild. My aunt and uncle–and by extension, my parents–are now grandparents themselves.
Seems just like yesterday when my cousin and I were just fighting over Happy Meal toys and roughhousing in the yard! Though they always visited us from their home in Santa Rosa we were never really close, and he grew up to have a more conventional adolescence: he was in the volleyball and basketball varsity teams, he had a band, and he was made to take nursing in college.
Seems just like yesterday too, when my aunt broke the news that my cousin had gotten his girlfriend pregnant. Nobody was ecstatic then, and my aunt even cried on the phone. And even though we didn’t talk about it over dinner I could almost see through everyone’s knotted brows and read their minds: but neither he nor the girl has finished college, how is he going to provide for the baby? Isn’t the girl older than he is? They weren’t even two years together!
This morning I wanted to tell everyone about my time at the July 4th celebrations at the US Embassy last night, when I hobnobbed with lots of VIPs–the Chief Justice, FVR, and several lawmakers–but then who really wants to hear about my struggles trying to get my boss photos with self-important men in coat and tie?
So instead, I joined in everyone’s enthusiasm as we repeat among ourselves the details we all already know: it was a normal delivery, the baby’s going to be named Jacob, I am going to be ninong.
I want to call to congratulate my cousin now, but I’m afraid I might sound, well, self-important.