As much as I enjoy history and old things, the one perk of living in the 21st century in an industrialized country is that people don't die in childbirth like they once did or still do. And as much as I complain about the frequent absurdity of male-female dynamics, at least I can kind of make my own life decisions and not have to worry about being married off before I've hit puberty or considered fair game if I'm not in the company of a male relative.
My sister is going to get the care she needs and she has the support of a wonderful husband who values her education and was willing to move so she could go to grad school. There's a lot of girls that aren't so lucky. I read this article in a waiting room the day before my nephew was born and re-read it today. I almost cried looking at these photos.
And the on the other side of the world, my sister called me this morning to tell me that my nephew was born. She said it was rougher than she thought it'd be and that she was really tired, but she wanted to see me so before work I drove out to the hospital to hang out with her and her husband.
So I'm holding this kid who has my eyes and bro-in-law's nose, this little wrinkled pink squirmer in a blanket, only a few hours old, whose chin quivers when he cries. I remember my sister being born, and now she's got a son who's going to perceive me as a Responsible Adult. This is so weird but incredibly awesome at the same time.
I've got some friends around my age who are really into wanting babies and while I've never paid attention to the biological clock, I guess I kind of get it when I'm holding him and feeling this little heartbeat, but I don't think people always realize how messy the whole being born thing is, all the blood and the ick and the pain. But it is so beautiful and it'll be cool to watch him grow up surrounded by so much love.