fictionary… 8 megapixel artist… bloody awful poet.

Final Approach


“Once we induce, it could be 30 minutes… it could be 3 days.”

At least that’s what the Labor and Delivery nurse said to my daughter when she was asked, “How long…?”  My baby is having a baby, her second, almost 10 years after her first.  I wasn’t in the room with her for my first grandchild, but besides the father, this time my daughter asked me.

And I wouldn’t be anywhere else.

Don’t tell the nurses, but I brought a flask of bourbon into the room this morning.  If I’m going to be here for the duration, I have to have some of the comforts of home here with me, right?  Almost 10 years ago, when I was still becoming who I am today, I wouldn’t have had the balls to bring a flask into L&D.  I also wouldn’t have had the balls to write a blog post at the foot of my daughter’s bed while she was beginning to have the contractions that will bring another granddaughter into the world. 

But I’m not that man anymore.

This time around, it seems, everything is different.  My daughter isn’t a kid anymore.  Her life is as stable as any parent could’ve hoped for his child as he was raising her, imperfectly… so fucking imperfectly.

This time around, she trusts me.  And that’s all a dad can hope for from his kid.  Because after all the work and worry of parenting a first-born child… your ‘experimental child’… is done, all that’s left is that she, maybe, loves you as much as you love her.

And being in this room, in this moment, I know better than any other something could ever show me.

And in this room, at this moment now on final approach, I know I am a fortunate man.  Not because I have life figured out, or because I’ve made myself great in the eyes of the world, because I haven’t.  Not even close.  I know that I am a fortunate man because, for one of the rare times since my birth, realize what love is.  I am fortunate in the time between contractions, from the tender looks between my daughter and her man.  In the sound of the fetal heart monitor, filling the room with the presence of new life.  And I am fortunate in the flow of conversation between my daughter and me, which finds its place in the gaps of all that’s happening in this room where Ruby will take her first breaths.  In the randomness of bad jokes, and doing whatever it is my baby girl asks of me. 

This is where my life finds some semblance of completion.  This is where everything, good or bad, from the day of her birth till now, has led.  This is that moment where I know that nothing I have done badly is held against me, and all that matters is now, and the future is alight with promise and purpose and every good thing that could ever be.

And I wouldn’t be anywhere else.


© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

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10 thoughts on “Final Approach

  1. Sarah Coolidge on said:

    Well done, dad. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Day Eleven – NanoPoblano – Poem/Poetry – “I’ve Only Got Eyes For Muse” by David Ellis | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

  3. Wow, what an incredible honour to be invited at such a special occasion. Congratulations on becoming who you are now, and fully living this moment. I hope all of you will be happy and well.

    Thanks for sharing these emotions. It was an honour to even read them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • An honor? Wow, Angela… thank you! A little insight here, and nowhere else so far, this year’s Nano Poblano, I resolved to go deeper than 30 days of poetry and photos like the last two years. Poetry and photos are easy for me. Blogging is hard. And sharing personal stuff is harder still. Ruby’s birth has made sharing the personal a lot easier.

      Thank you for reading so far.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re doing a fabulous job at it!

        I’ve found it surprisingly easy to write about my daily struggles, but I’ve realised (probably through your blog) that the reason why it’s easy is because I mainly write about my thoughts and leave my feelings out of it. If that’s what it takes at the moment, that’s what I’ll do.

        I hope, some time, to be able to write about feelings in a way that I like. It might take a few years, or more, and that’s okay. Enough stuff going on in the meanwhile that will keep me growing.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for sharing this Bill. I know I am commenting massively late after the event but I’m glad you were there to experience it and to share it with all of us. This magical moment in time is precious and you are very generous to share it with the world at large. I think the drink was a good idea too to take the edge off! Cheers, big guy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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