Meeting A New Grandchild
Marc de Souza
Like a lot of things I learned when I was a child, I find shades of meaning now that I never guessed before. I arrived at the hospital and went to the front desk to ask the location of the maternity ward. What foolishness - there is no longer any such thing.
They do, however, have a birthing center, and I was directed there. I got misplaced and ended up in the women's health wing. I was shown the door. I discovered that I no longer knew how to ‘do’ hospitals. I was a stranger in a strange land.
A couple of rights, a couple of lefts, a couple of ups and a couple of downs managed to get me where I was meant to be. Our twin grandsons - now on the shady side of 5 - ran up to greet me.
"Mom had a baby", they announced. "It's another boy". My son-in-law had been absolutely certain in the month prior that the sibling-in-waiting was a boy. He was keeping it a secret.
When I entered the room, there was my daughter. A tiny little thing, she's tough enough to raise three boys without a break for the next 20 years, give or take.
"You look great," I said, as I gave her a hug. "Not so bad yourself,” she lied in return, and I stood there beaming away. Sure, I am a proud grandpa. But I am also a very proud dad.
"Want to meet Jonah, your new grandson?" she asked. "That's a whale of an idea!" I answered. I had been saving that since we learned his name.
"Well, then, turn around." And there he was, right behind me in a little bassinet. The babies stay with the moms in the room now. As I said, a stranger in a strange land.
What can I say? If you have been blessed to be a grandparent, you know what that first look is like. The past, the present and the future came together for that moment, and the faithful departed are there to peek over your shoulder.
Back home, I noticed squirrels running about and a pair of bulbul chirping unusually. On closer scrutiny, I noticed a nest and on inspection I found there were three chicks gingerly opening their mouths, assuming mummy bird had brought a juicy morsel. Not wanting to disturb their privacy, I hastily retreated to my den. Thinking how wonderful two perfect births back to back!
"God looked at everything he made, and he found it very it very good. Welcome, Jonah. It is going to be a whale of a life.