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!