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Today I made the appointment for my daughter to have an ultrasound. Simple enough. I do that kind of thing all the time what with the foot issues lasting several years now. But there was an urgency to the scheduling I don’t usually indulge in. Any time is fine, usually, but with this I insisted on getting the test done promptly even with inconveniences like missing class and having to find a driver, so it can be done sooner rather than later.

After I did that I noticed an alarming sense of dread about the whole thing as I chopped eggs for the potato salad meant for our Memorial Day picnic. She’s fifteen. I have not allowed panic about this medical issue because the chances of a problem are slim they tell me. But the symptoms are falling in line with our lousy genetics, causing the memory of my sister’s illness and death to be present in my worries. Funny how a seriously bad time is hard to shake even if you tell it to go away.

My remedy was to call my former babysitter, now thirty-three, to congratulate her on the birth of her new second little boy, and to hear all the news of how it went. I didn’t stay long. I didn’t talk about my worries. But I reveled with her in the thrill of the new, the joy of a baby, and the happiness of our shared friendship after all these years. She’s my adopted younger sister and I appreciate so much the balance she brings to my life in moments like this.

Thank you new baby on earth among friends.