Happy Birthday to my granddaughter, Jordan, who is 10 years old today. I've been thinking this morning about the day she was born. Her mom called me very early in the morning, before I was even out of bed, to tell me they were on the way to the hospital. Being their first, I figured I'd have plenty of time to get there, despite the 2 hour drive, before Baby made her appearance.
I arrived at the hospital around 9:30 that morning and shortly after, the other grandmother came to wait with me. The grandfathers were a different story. One was on a business trip and the other said he'd be there later (my husband). So, there we sat, two grandmothers, spending the morning talking about all kinds of things. I think it was the time when she and I got to know one another very well. Her son, my son-in-law, popped into the waiting room every now and then to give us an update on the labor progress. I'd stopped to see my daughter when I arrived, just to let her know I was there. Then I left the two of them alone. Part of me wanted to be with this child of mine for the birth and part of me wanted the two of them to share this experience alone. It was enough that my daughter knew I was only steps away in the waiting room.
Around noon, the elevator doors opened and out stepped three of Karen's good friends, two had been bridesmaids at her wedding a year and a half earlier. They were more nervous than either one of the grandmothers. Finally, they had to go back to work. Minutes after they'd left, Steve strolled into the waiting area, and I do mean strolled--acting so nonchalantly. Holding out a camera to us, he said, "Do you want to see her picture or meet your granddaughter in person?"
We two grandmothers jumped to our feet and sped down the hall to the room where our new grandchild waited. Hugs and smiles, pictures and chatter--we were all on a high at that moment. Even Karen, who'd done all the hard work, looked joyful, yet content. In minutes, Ken walked through the door. He'd missed being there for the birth time, but he got there to see his newest grandchild. The other grandfather was on a plane back to Kansas City later that afternoon, and he met Jordan early that evening.
Turns out that Ken delayed in coming to the hospital because he wanted to be there "when it was all over." Coward! Still, his happiness was as great as what the rest of us had.
And me--I called my mother soon after the birth to give her the happy news, not realizing that I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I could not get the words out. My poor mom was far away, holding onto a phone with no one able to speak on the other end. I managed to tell her that the baby had arrived and Karen was fine, but after that, the emotion welled up and I could not speak for the lump in my throat and tears that streamed. Relief and joy intermingled at that moment. When I finally managed to get control, the great grandmother and I had a good talk.
Jordan has been a light in our lives for ten full years. The sunny, fall day that she was born will continue to be a forever memory. One that will go into the family stories book for her to read many years from now. Maybe someday, she'll write a family memory story of her own about something she did with her grandparents.