January 28th was one of those days when I was reminded how important it is to get the right information. That morning my wife, Rhonda, called me at the office to tell me that our daughter, Jennifer, had sent her a text message: “Going to the hospital, pray.”
“Did she say anything else?” I asked.
“No, that was it,” Rhonda said.
Even though Rhonda was convinced everything was going as planned, I was less sure. Being blessed with an over-active imagination allowed me to consider several unpleasant scenarios; of course, it could be that Jennifer was just letting her mother know that the baby was on the way, but why think positively when there are so many negative thoughts pushing their way in? So I prayed.
Usually the regular events of the day can distract me, or I can pick up a book or a newspaper and busy my mind with something – but not that morning. I paced the office as if it were an old-fashioned waiting room. I worried and I waited, but no nurse appeared to tell me any news.
I plugged in my cell phone to make sure it was charged, and I turned the ringer volume up to eleven. I checked and rechecked the office voice mail; I looked through emails, text messages and Facebook; I even checked the fax machine – just in case. When the mailman walked in I almost asked, “Any word?” None of the letters he delivered hinted at any news of a baby either.
Finally, my phone rang. It seemed that I was moving in slow motion as I looked at the phone and saw Jennifer’s name displayed. Fearing the worst and hoping for the best I said “Hello?”
“Hello Grandpa,” she said.
“Did you have a baby?” I asked.
“Yes, I did.”
“Is he healthy?”
“Yes, he’s healthy.”
Sometime during our conversation I remembered to ask the weight because I was sure my sisters would want to know.
When I called them I had my piece of paper right in front of me. “8 lbs 6 oz” I said. But it quickly became apparent that I didn’t have his name, length, or time of birth. I also didn’t have his width, shoe size, or waist and in-seam measurements. Of anyone, my sisters should know better than to ask me too many questions.
That afternoon I drove Rhonda and our son, Nathan, to the hospital with great anticipation. When we walked into the room I found it hard to believe that our daughter was holding her own baby, for it doesn’t seem that long ago when we took our baby girl home from the hospital.
Naturally, my wife would be the one to hold the baby first (and most). When I held him I immediately loved him. He seemed very nice and reasonably content, considering what he had just experienced. I’m afraid I dominated our conversation, as I had so much to tell him. I couldn’t understand him, but fortunately there were those in the room who knew what he needed. I didn’t get much of a chance to have any “alone” time with just the baby, as he, being the most popular one in the room, was constantly hovered over.
I did get his name: Micah James. However, I’m still not completely sure of the rest of the vital statistics, but I do know I am the new Grandpa Kucera; that I am sure of it.