Welcome to Big Old Goofy World . . . a place where I can share my thoughts, hopes, and dreams about this rock that we live on and call home.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Heavy Lays the Joy


If anyone knows me well, they will know that I do not handle anticipation well.  For nearly nine months I have awaited the birth of the newest addition to the family . . . a granddaughter.  For the past two and a half weeks I have been hyper-vigilant, constantly checking my cell phone waiting for that big announcement that the granddaughter had arrived . . . because the daughter was told that the baby would arrive at any time . . . and, she never did.  I kept my schedule free, gave up activities, and twiddled my thumbs as I waited.  The little squirt would come out and play with the rest of us . . . stubborn little cuss.  My anxiousness was pretty obvious as I texted and called the daughter with the question: You still pregnant?  Only to be told, "Yep."

Yep, she was still pregnant when I left on a business trip for two-and-a-half days in Helena.  The report from the daughter was that the kid would probably still be in hiding by the time I got back from the trip.  Unfortunately, or fortunately for the "tired of being pregnant" daughter, the kid started to tease everyone with lots of false alarms . . . false alarms that were actually the prelude to the big show.  Then it happened . . . the daughter was admitted to the hospital, the doctor and daughter were determined that the kid was coming once and for all . . . and, I was in Helena.  Checking the cell phone every five minutes.  Reading cryptic updates.  All with the patience of Job!

Then, at 4:30PM, I got the last message: an hour.  The baby would be making her appearance into the world in an hour.  My response was: let me know.  And, then, that was the last I heard of anything.  Nothing.  That was the longest hour every experienced or recorded in history.  Nothing but silence.  I knew nothing.

Now I am not some spring chicken when it comes to the birth of a child . . . after all, I went through four births with the wife . . . so, I know that these deliveries can be sporadic once they are set into motion.  I know that they can go like gangbusters and suddenly slow down to a crawl.  Not hearing anything I just figured that that was the case.  The little miss needed a break before the final big push.  No big deal . . . I was being philosophical about the whole thing.  The kid would come when the kid was good and ready.

An hour went by . . . nothing.

Another hour went by . . . still nothing.

Another hour went by . . . and nothing.  Deafening silence.  It was now three-and-a-half hours after the last message of "an hour", and I still did not know whether or not the granddaughter had actually made her appearance.  Needless to say, I was getting a little frustrated.  So, I called home . . . got the number three child who told me that the baby had been born and that there was a picture on Instagram.  Quickly hanging up I maneuvered by phone's screen to Instagram and confirmed what I had been told . . . the granddaughter had made her appearance exactly an hour after I had received the original message.  It seems no one thought about letting me know.

I survived despite the bruised ego of being forgotten.  I was the only grandparent who was not at the hospital to welcome the newest addition to the family.  I am still the only grandparent who has not gotten to hold the granddaughter . . . I will get that opportunity later this evening.  Kind of felt left out of the loop.  I felt joy, but it was a heavy joy.

The anticipation of the granddaughter's arrival was tough on everyone, but she is now here and everyone is doing well.  She is healthy and has a full head of hair (unlike her grandpa).  I heard her cry while talking on the phone with the daughter so I know that she will be vocal.  Everyone is excited and the adventure begins . . . and, I have begun a new anticipation.  The anticipation of finally meeting the stubborn little squirt and holding her for the first time.  It will be wonderful . . . a real joy!  I am not sure I can wait that long, but I have no choice as Helena is a long way from Billings.

I admit that I do not handle waiting very well.  I know that this was worth the wait, but as much as folks knew I was anticipating this blessed event, you would have thought that they would have let me know sooner than two-and-a-half hours after the actual birth . . . would have let me know so that I did not find out on social media with the rest of the world.  Sure it tampered the joy, yet it still was exciting despite being forgotten.

I have gotten over the moping.  The sting of being forgotten does not hurt as much as it did.  I have survived . . . and, my inner voice has said, "Knock it off!" and "Grow up!" It has also said other things, but I cannot share those with anyone because I do attempt to keep this blog at least PG-rated.  There is joy . . . the family has welcomed the newest member into the clan . . . everyone is healthy . . . and, the adventure begins.  I like adventures, especially with granddaughters . . . my nearly two-year old granddaughter have adventures whenever we are together . . . now we get to double the fun.

Thus a story has been created . . . the story about how G-pa missed the birth of the granddaughter.  It will be told over and over again . . . people will laugh and say things like, "Poor John" and laugh some more.  The story will probably be told forever until the day that I die, and then probably the day they lay my body to rest . . . no one remembered to tell G-pa that the baby had arrived.  Yeah, it is a funny story . . . and, I can even smile as it is told--even now . . . but, despite the joy of the news there was a heaviness that accompanied it for me . . . it is no fun to be forgotten.  But hey, we introverts are used to it despite the hurt we feel.

Right now, all I can honestly say is that my daughter and son-in-law sure do create some beautiful babies.  We are all blessed to welcome the newest addition to the family . . . in a tale of forgetfulness a story was born that will never be forgotten.  It will never be forgotten just like the newest granddaughter . . . it is joy!  

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