So now we have four.
The news rushed in just before Christmas was all put away. Grandbean #4 has arrived.
I stood at my kitchen counter, chopping up vegetables for dinner. In the living room—open to the kitchen—the Preacher sat in his recliner, looking a point or two below prime. Our first three beans (as we call our grandchildren, age five and under) bounced around him like tennis balls, paying no attention to the jangling phone.
I shushed them and picked it up.
“Is that Daddy?” yelled one of the beans. Our daughter’s labour had gotten off to a dawdling start the evening before and we’d waited long for news.
“We’re still in the delivery room,” our son-in-law said. “We’re holding the baby right now.”
I hit the speakerphone button. “Say that again, okay?” He did.
Amidst the raucous happy dances came their mother’s voice. “Hi, kids!”
“Mama,” asked Tabatha, “do you still have a baby in your tummy?”
“No, she doesn’t anymore,” said Benjamin. “Mama, what is it?”
“Come and see,” said his Daddy.
The eldest bean clarified his query. “Daddy. Is it female or male?”
In the kerfuffle at our end, neither parent heard. He tried one last time.
“Mama,” he yelled. “DID YOU HAVE A HUMAN BABY?”
Two hours later, we trooped to the hospital, down the hallway, and into their mother’s room. To see.
Amanda sat upright in bed, holding a folded towel. I looked again. The towel had a perfectly cherubic face, and wore a pink-striped toque.
“Kids….come and meet your sister!”
Tabatha ran forward, her smile wide. “A baby! A baby!” she said, patting the bundle repeatedly. But Benjamin approached the bed almost reverently. He touched his mother’s face, then placing both hands on the white bundle, looked long. Adoring.
“Her name is Sherah (Shay-Ra),” said her mother.
Dinah Jane, not yet three, processed all this from Daddy’s arms. Then she said, her voice firm. “Da baby tummed out. Mama pushed the button and the baby tummed out.”
Her father laughed so hard I thought he would drop his now second-youngest child.
“What button did I push?” asked her chuckling Mama.
The tyke leaned out of Daddy’s arms and tapped Amanda’s hospital wristband. A small white button held its two ends together. “Dat one,” she said firmly.
Later, as we prepared to leave, I realized something. “Honey,” I asked our daughter, “What’s Sherah’s middle name?”
“Thought you’d never ask,” she said. “It’s Kathleen.”
The honor stunned me so much I had to sit down suddenly.
It’s dancing time again, people. And why not? Though “sin and sorrow grow, and thorns infest the ground”, every new birth brings a perpetual reflection of Christmas—God, once again, blessing the earth with the hope and promise of tomorrow. A child through whom God can change the world.
We old children often forget: God longs to do the same through us.
Amanda created a beautiful Smilebox slideshow to welcome Sherah. She’s given me permission to share it with you… Click and enjoy! (You may have to have the program installed on your computer…I’m not sure. But it’s worth it–Smilebox is a fantastic way to document lives!)