Jefferson not only just enjoyed one of the best possible Super Bowl celebrations with this news, but just to turn it around and speak on behalf of dads everywhere, he had one of great birthing experiences any father has ever had. Imagine getting to play football instead of having to be there in the delivery room? That is every expectant father’s dream. And he got to live it.
The moment @VanJefferson12 found out his wife was in labor ❤️
— NFL (@NFL) February 15, 2022
As I’ve complained about before, some time between my dad’s generation and mine, the idea of the father being there for the delivery went from unheard of to commonplace to mandatory. I don’t remember getting a vote on that, but I had no choice. Where as John “Bud” Thornton was probably sitting at home ripping Lucky Strikes and watching Walter Cronkite while his sainted wife was bringing his pride and joy into this world, I had to go through the whole experience twice. Each time woken up out of sound REM sleep at 3:30 a.m. to get the Irish Rose to the ER and then stand by her bed trying to offer support in a birthing unit I had no business being in. And believe me, it’s like a crime scene in there.
A victim in pain. You’re helpless to do anything about it, other than remind her about those useless breathing exercises that nurse taught you at that class. The guilt of knowing you’re the one who put her in this condition. Everyone else in the room knowing exactly what to do while you’re just in the professionals’ way. It’s that same feeling of being completely out of your depth you get when the mechanic calls you into the shop to show you what’s under the hood and he uses that jargon you don’t understand. “The serpentine belt needs to be replace because it’s throwing off the differential of the catalytic risonstat flange coupling …” while you try to act like you comprehend a word of it. The midwife even asked if I wanted to come down to the foot of the bed for a better view. And I literally told her, “I’m all set. I’d like to preserve a little bit of the mystery, thanks.” And when she asked me to cut the cord, I directly stole the Bobcat Goldthwait line, “Isn’t there anyone here more qualified?”
Now replace my experience – and those of literally every dad I know since my father’s generation – with Van Jefferson’s. This sweet, blessed man got to grab four Matthew Stafford passes for 23 yards and win a ring, while completely avoiding all that. He just got to walk into that maternity ward with this older kids like the conquering hero that he is, and skip all the messy and painful parts. And will have the best childbirth story of anyone he’ll ever meet. God bless the whole Jefferson family. Especially the mom, for timing it so perfectly.