In shocking Aunt Sissy news, she announces that she is having her baby at a hospital and will have a doctor deliver the baby. This is unheard of. Women have their children at home with a midwife; the only time you go to the hospital is to die.
Sissy tells everyone to get with it, and that the times are changing.
She shocks them again by telling them that she will have a Jewish doctor because they are more sympathetic and smarter than Christian doctors. Minds = blown.
When the time to have the baby arrives, Sissy goes to the hospital and the baby is born looking like all the others—blue and lifeless. Sissy despairs.
But then the doctor says oxygen—a word Sissy has never heard before, and right before her very eyes the child changes color and starts to cry.
The doctor is sure he is fine and will live. Sissy is overcome with happiness.
She names him Stephen Aaron, and he is all the family talks about until Uncle Willie Flittman changes the subject with his odd behavior.
Willy enlists in the army but is rejected, which depresses him so much that he quits his job and goes to bed. In grand dramatic flourish, he proclaims himself a big failure and plans on staying in bed until he dies.
They call Sissy in since she is so good with people in these situations. Sissy convinces him that working in a munitions factory would be a meaningful way to help the war effort, and in no time at all he is pumped and ready to take on the world.
Steve works at a factory and is able to get Willie a good job there. With his overtime pay, he buys himself musical instruments, though under it all he still feels like a failure.