“We're heading to the hospital. It's likely a false alarm. It's three weeks early, so I wouldn't worry at all. We'll call if anything happens, but last time you had to sit in the waiting room for about a week, remember? Don't worry. Talk to you later. Bye.”
What? Me worry? Of course not. It's just my third grandchild about to be born.
Wake Me Up in Grade 3
Eighteen months ago, my son and his wife, Raelyn, were out hunting moose when her water broke. Not the moose's water, but Raelyn's. We waited for days for our first grandbaby. That's why they call it a waiting room I guess.
We ate pizza. We watched BenHur. The Sound of Music. Fiddler on the Roof. All 84 seasons of Downton Abbey. So this time, I wasn't worried. We live an hour from the hospital where they were headed. We had plenty of time.
But just to make sure, I called my son at 4 p.m. “How about those Blue Jays?” I said. Jeff laughed. “I'm kidding. How's it going?”
“Well, the nurse thinks it won't happen until midnight. We were 36 hours with Sophia, you know.” I remembered.
“Take care,” I said. “I mean, cast all your care on God. We'll pray.” And we did. We prayed the prayer we'd been praying for eight months and three weeks. That this baby would be OK. That God would use this child to bring some light into the world.
At 4:47 p.m., a text rattled its way into my phone: “Going into delivery. Better come.” Two minutes later: “Come now. Hurry.” Then, 19 minutes later, another text: “Baby is here. Bring pizza!”
On the way to the hospital, my wife recounted the births of each of our three children. It kept me focused. It was horrifying. When our first child was on the way, Ramona was determined there be no medication, it would be a natural birth. But when it started, I insisted they medicate me.
Four hours into delivery, Ramona said, “Give me drugs. Lots and lots of drugs.” So they did. She woke up when the boy was in Grade 3.
They say good things take time. But sometimes they're wrong. Little Claira Callaway came fast. She just couldn't wait any longer to see her grandpa. And who could blame her?
This is our third grandchild. All of them girls. I'm setting up a barbed-wire fence to keep the boys out. And I've been scoping out pink golf clubs. You can teach a child to swing a club at six months, you know. Give them a bit of a head start. And you can buy these clubs in bulk and get a deal.
Is there anything quite like the birth of a child to remind us that we live in a crazy world? A culture that insists on ignoring the old boundary markers? “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25 English Standard Version) pretty much sums it up.
But as I held a sleeping Claira and her wide-eyed big sister in my arms that night, I sang a little song: “This is no time for fear. This is a time for faith and determination. God is in control. We believe that His children will not be forsaken. Culture can make its plan, but the line never changes. No matter how the deception may fly. There is one thing that has always been true. It will be true forever. God is in control. We will choose to remember and never be shaken. There is no power above or beside Him we know. God is in control.”
Welcome Claira Beatrice Callaway, five pounds 13 ounces. It's a crazy planet you've landed on, but God is here. I am, too. You're gonna like me a lot!