We have a new baby grandson. He entered the real world August this year, and he was Baptized last Sunday.
The Baptism went beautifully. There were three babies baptized the same day, and not even one of them reacted with an indignant scream when the water was poured on their head. This might have been due to the little ones’ innocence, but I’m inclined to think the shock of the cold water caused a sudden intake of breath, which precluded screaming. But, all went well, according to ritual, and it began on time.
The birth was a different case. It was to be by Caesarean section on Aug. 15. Everything was carefully planned down to when the house was to be given its last cleaning before the baby’s arrival. I always thought that having a baby by appointment had definite merit, but back when we were producing babies a Caesarean was an emergency measure.
I went to the last doctor’s appointment with my daughter. All the way to his office she kept saying, “I just wish I could have this baby now and get it over with.” My reply was, “Be careful what you wish for. You might get it.”
After the obligatory tests, the obstetrician asked, “When do you want to have this baby?”
I’m sure he was expecting her to say, “Today!” But she was a little foxier than he expected. She reminded him it was on the schedule for the next Friday, and she had plans for the next week.
The plans were changed. The doctor said the time had come. It used to be the baby who decided when the time had come.
A ride home and a few phone calls later, the sisters and sisters-in-law along with some cousins had gathered to do a week’s work in one night. Two of them drove for several hours to retrieve the sister-to-be from Band Camp because the doctors said that at age 16 she was mature enough to be at the birth.
This is apparently acceptable now, and I really don’t have any quarrel with it. However, when I was having babies, I didn’t want anybody there but the medical professionals. I wanted Bill there during labor, but once delivery was imminent I didn’t even want to be there. I know birth is a marvelous miracle, and I certainly respect it, but I had no real desire to see it.
Early the next morning Mommy, Daddy, and Sis went to the hospital to prepare for the birth. Three sisters, a cousin and I followed later to be there in the waiting room when he was born.
Well, the appointed hour came and went, and we were all still waiting. It seems an emergency had come in, and we were in a better position to wait than she. So much for delivery by appointment.
Several hours later he made his debut. Within minutes after his birth, his Daddy was in the nursery with the nurses. He was holding and dressing his new son. The look on Daddy’s face was, as the commercial says, “priceless.” Not long after that everybody got a chance to hold the new baby. That was great.
By now the baby has been welcomed into the family by his mom, dad, sister, two grandparents, 14 aunts and uncles, and 25 cousins. That’s just on our side of the family and doesn’t count the great aunts and uncles and the second cousins.
This is our 25th grandchild by my count. Like most families today our children have children who are his, hers, and theirs. In my book that makes them all ours.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This column was first published in the Greenville Advocate 10-8-2003.
Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her column Back Around the House II. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.