Metaphorically, four human rainbows are born every second at different locations around the globe. They come in a limited number of colors. They are someone’s babies. Couples can only dream what they will find at the end of their rainbow nine months after conception. More amazing, they have no idea what they will feel, or how a baby will transform their world. Most parents overflow with thanksgiving and may cry tears of joy when they hold their first child in their arms.
Our gynecologist and pediatrician was one of my best friends. In the 70’s most fathers didn’t observe the birth of their children—many doctors felt fathers were more of an obstacle during delivery than an assistant. Dr. Burns arranged for me to observe the birth of our first baby. After that experience, I understood the rationale of the majority of doctors to not allow men in the delivery room. The twelve hours of labor exhausted me. So, about five minutes before the actual birth, as my wife writhed in labor, I sat down for a quick rest. The resting place was the edge of the doctor’s instrument table, contaminating the entire bevy of tools needed for delivery. I may have set the entire movement of allowing fathers into the delivery rooms of Benton County, Tennessee back a couple of years.
The birth of our son, Robert David, occurred at 6:30 a.m. on August 31, 1973. In that instant I found a pot of gold ushering in a dimension of love never before explored. I found his body of movement and angry outburst amazing. A profound love instantaneously filled every niche of my being. The all-consuming love reshaped my attention and priorities for the rest of my life. I can’t explain the instantaneous flow of love to another person on first eyesight. Tears flowed down my cheeks, and dropped to the floor and I was not embarrassed. The first few minutes before the nurse carried our son away to clean him up deposited a new standard of joy in my life. And, Steven, born July 22, 1977, added even more reasons to appreciate the beauty of God’s creation.
Robert Watkins Jr., Dave Watkins, Bob Watkins, Steve Watkins
David and Steven Watkins