The Day I Met My Daughter


Marking papers from a stack of thirty students, I was biding my time until the teachers could leave school when a personal announcement came across the speaker on the wall. “Mr. Allen, are you there?” the voice from the office asked.

“Yes,” I answered.

“Your wife is going into labor,” the voice reported.

“Thank you,” I replied as I shoved the papers into my bag and walked out of the classroom, knowing that it would be fine if I left early. I did have a valid reason after all.

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I was out of the building, across the parking lot, and into my car in no time flat. A few minutes later, I was at the hospital, walking around the halls trying to find my wife who had been pacing the floors with her mother for over an hour. My presence put a slight smile on her face but only for a moment because she wasn’t happy, in a happy kind of way.

We knew the birth of my daughter was coming soon. We just didn’t know which day exactly and the due date had already passed. So, my wife was very excited about meeting her daughter but the misery she was going through could easily be read on her face. I offered if there was anything I could do and the response was quite hysterical from a soon-to-be mother who wasn’t actually enjoying the moment.

“Can you have the baby for me? Can you take the pain away?” were the kinds of responses she gave to a very humbled man who felt helpless when all he wanted to do was help.


My daughter finally arrived at four in the morning when the rest of the world was asleep. I ran up and down the steps several times from the room to the desk for administrative purposes and to grab the new mother a soda that she so desperately needed. I sprained my ankle somehow during one of those trips but I didn’t feel it until the next day because all I cared about was the new person in my life, which I finally got to hold about fifteen minutes after she was born.

I didn’t get to hold her right away like they do in the movies. Nurses are busy with babies for a few minutes while dads are running around the hospital whichever way they’re told to go. No, it’s not at all like it is in the movies. But it’s so much better.