The baby shower was over. We had admired Emily's belly, impressed at its girth and her stories of strangers' propensity to stare at it as if she was unaware of its dramatic appearance. The gifts had been opened, revealing numerous necessities, including a countless amount of adorable onesies (my contribution was a flamingo-themed set, because who wouldn't want their twin girls to look like flamingoes?).
The baby shower was over. My brother, dad and I had assembled the dual stroller, which wasn't as hard as the complicated instructions made it out to be--just a few clicks and snaps, and we had a baby transportation device. We had all eaten copious amounts of Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets, hummus, baby carrots (healthy!) and the carrot cake I had made last night (uh...not healthy).
The baby shower was over. We had played baby-themed games, one of which turned out to be educational. Who knew that a baby pigeon was called a squab? (Apparently, my dad.) We had sat and listened as Nick and Emily revealed the names of their babies, both of them with tears in their eyes, and felt happy that they had chosen to share their decision with us.
The baby shower was over. So we loaded up the newly-assembled stroller with the gifts, remarking that soon Nick and Emily would be strapping in two tiny babies. My mom tied the two pink balloons that had served as decorations to the handle. My brother began to wheel the stroller back up to the apartment he and Emily were staying in temporarily while waiting to move into their new house. I followed behind him.
As I watched him head up the hill leading to the apartment, the balloons bobbing merrily above him in the soft Georgia breeze, I marveled at how funny this scene would have appeared to me just a few short years ago: my tough brother, pushing a stroller with cutesy pink balloons? Never in a million years!
But today, I was struck at how right it all looked. He looked content and completely natural as he pushed, easing over the speed bumps and talking about the smooth ride the wheels would give his daughters. He looked happier than I had ever seen him.
The baby shower was over. But very soon, something new would begin. A family would double in size. Two people would become parents. Two beautiful little girls would be born. Everything would change.
But in this moment, as I watched my brother with a stroller, I realized that this change was exactly what he wanted. What they wanted. He was right where he had chosen to be.
And if the way he pushed that stroller is any indication, he's going to be the best dad.