My nephew and godson’s first birthday was on Friday. Just a year ago, at some ungodly hour, my sister called and said she wasn’t sure if she was still ceaselessly going to the bathroom or if her water had broken. “Your water broke,” I assured her. “Go to the hospital.” Soon, I arrived by her side and noticed that the baby’s vitals were off on the monitor that kept track of Sonia’s contractions and his blood pressure. I mentioned it to the nurse, my sister’s best friend in her new hometown, and she ushered us out of the room. A few more hours and Gabriel was born via C-section. I think about these things now, a year later, and am reminded of the years I spent teaching high school and working at a college. How I loved those kids through it all. How you press yourself into the best version of yourself for them, how your sensibilities are heightened so that you can notice when their vitals are off. How you would drive through the darkness of night to save or greet a life. How you take as many hits as you can in order for them not to take any. How the lives you staple to your heart, as if to say these are my children even when they aren’t literally and especially when they are, do more than keep yours company as they beat, they give yours even more life. As I bent down to kiss Gabriel good night at the end of his first year of life, I marveled at how we must all raise each other. How nourishing one another is just a form of nourishing ourselves. And how we save ourselves and each other when we take the time to notice someone else’s vital signs.