Friday, May 9, 2014

It's blue ... but we're not blue

The blue outfit Rachel posted on Facebook
... for her and Russell's baby boy
     The message we'd been waiting for came in a text photo of a sonogram early Tuesday morning, and it was labeled, "It's a boy!"
     That's great. Either way it would've been great.
     It's actually great that the sonogram had the "boy" label on it because I don't know how you can tell what's what, although as my daughter -- who sent the text -- pointed out afterward it's pretty obvious if you look at it closely.
     Rachel, our Rachel, is having a boy, due in September. We've known for 3 1/2 months that she is having another baby; she's talked about it on Facebook, and so have we, but we didn't know if Josephine ("Josie"), who is 6, was having a brother or sister.
     On Monday, Rachel posted photos of a pink infant outfit and a blue one and said, "Looking forward to finding out Tuesday which of these we'll be using."
     As Rachel put it some 24 hours later, "Blue it is."
     Hey, we're excited. Honestly, although I had a 50 percent of being correct in guessing what the child's sex would be, I am 100 percent wrong. And that's fine.
     But if you think we're excited, a reliable source told us that when Russell, the father, looked at the sonogram and realizing it is a boy, jumped out of his chair, waved his hands above his head and did a victory dance.
     Not so excited: Josie. Our granddaughter -- a beautiful, bright, creative and amusing child who  pointedly told us a couple of months ago, "I ... can ... read --  obviously wanted a baby sister.
     "I'm OK with it," she told her parents, "but I'm not happy about it."
     I suspect in at least two years, she will be more than happy to give orders to Baby Boy Smith, and for many years to come. I also suspect she will be fabulous big sister, protective of little brother.
     That evening, when I spoke to her on the phone, I said, "I hear you're getting a baby brother."
     "Oh, yeah," she answered, and I could hear her rolling her eyes.
     "Well, you can play baseball and basketball with him," I said.
     "I don't know how to play baseball or basketball," she said.
     "You'll learn," I told her.
     "Oh, you're crazy," she replied, a standard answer for her in many situations recently. But maybe she said it specifically targeted for her silly Opa.
     Now Rachel and Russell -- and maybe Josie will have a say-so -- enter into the serious phase of picking a name. They've been trading names for weeks; well, Rachel was making suggestions and Russell was non-committal, and we were witness to a discussion during dinner a week ago.
      "I don't want to talk about this," Russell finally said, "at least until Tuesday." My comment was that at least 50 percent of the conversation could be cut after we knew ... boy or girl.
      About a year and a half ago, I wrote about our three grandchildren, and how they are the greatest blessing life has given us:
      Changing diapers? No problem. Reading stories? It's fun. Playing games? They love it. Watching them grow and learn is what it's about.
      We weren't sure if we would have any more grandchildren; Rachel and Russell had not said point-blank that they wanted to add to their family. But when Rachel called on Jan. 24 and said she wanted to do Facetime with us, and when we answered the call, Russell -- not Josie, as usual -- was sitting next to her, and both of them were beaming, we instantly knew what the news was going to be.
      Sure, we are anxious, we wish for good health for the baby and for his mother. We hope and pray for the best; we believe in being positive.
      I know this from experience; there are few moments that top this miracle of life. That moment in 1979 when Dr. James Smith came out of the delivery room and said to me, "Congratulations, you have a daughter" was a great one, topped only a few minutes later when the nurses handed me our baby, Rachel.
       Almost three decades later, it was the same type feeling when I held Josie for the first time, and then twice more -- with her cousins Jacob and Kaden. I think Bea will tell you she had the same feeling.
        Now it's going to happen again, and it will be a thrill. And we will put him in a light blue outfit to carry him home. Neat.


  1. From Tommy Canterbury: Great Nico. Congrats to all. Joy of life. When my first granddaughter, who is 3 today, was born, Chad made a DVD with the background of George Strait's "I Saw God Today" song. Fabulous. My youngest granddaughter will be 1 in June. Good stuff.

  2. From Mike Richey: Congrats on the new grandson. And I've got a granddaughter who can readily identify with Josie. If I've already told you this, forgive me ... or in light of your column, be patient. When the mention of a baby brother was brought up to Quinn before Dylan was born, she would say adamantly, "I want a baby sister." And when the boy arrived, she wasn't happy. But when Alexis asked her what she wanted to name him, she got excited and shrieked 'DORA!' God I love that child. And her brother, too.
    Another part of the blog that I identified with was when you described holding your grandchildren for the first time. I told Alexis and Brian when she was in labor that they were about to experience something that you can't understand ... at least not until you experience it yourself. I explained how you immediately love someone with more intensity than you've ever had. More than you can love a spouse. Hell, more than Phil Robertson can love duck hunting. When I was sharing the conversation with Alexis and Brian with my friend LeeAnn, she asked me what happened. I told her the damnest thing ... that it had happened to me again, too.