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A Baby Sister is Born


Before photographs were just something you scrolled through on a phone, they were very precious. Photography was an expensive venture once the costs of cameras, lenses, film and developing were totted up. Photographs were valued not only monetarily, but also sentimentally.


At the time of my sister's birth it was not the custom to take a picture of a newborn. It was also not the custom for fathers to be present in the labour ward. So perhaps by way of proving to the newly christened father that he was indeed a father, the midwives would ink the baby's feet and present the new parent with a set of footprints.

I was outside playing at a house down the street. I remember my daddy sauntering down the hill and into the driveway. I thought he was there to check on me – at that age (and for a long time!) I thought everything was about me. I remember his smile, the gentle puff of his chest. He had some kind of fancy card in his hand and he and the neighbour were discussing it. There was more smiling.

It was the card with the new baby's inky footprints. Those footprints were so tiny, even to me. Mommy had had a baby girl to bring home to us soon. There was a lot more smiling that day.

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