I traveled to Chicago to be with my son and daughter-in-law to await the birth of their first child. Ok, so maybe I was a little over anxious…like I was afraid if Katie went into labor it would take me too long to get a flight from Orlando to Chicago to be there in time for Maya’s arrival. I did get that part right. A few contractions and five pushes later, that baby was out cocooning with her Mom and Dad. But…prior to her red carpet entrance, there was the waiting. I was 8 days early. I’m never early for anything. I took up residence at a Best Western in Evanston, Illinois. Every day I would go to the front desk saying, “I think I need one more day”. The front desk clerks and breakfast room staff became fast friends, exclaiming, “That baby’s not here yet?! All in God’s time, honey.”
God’s time-frame gave me an unexpected gift…time with my son and daughter-in-law. David’s career obligations, geographical distance, and impending fatherhood, hasn’t left him extra time for connecting with his Mom. We are alike in our love of play. And play we were able to do this week of waiting for Maya. A soft, powdery snow descended on Chicago the day of my arrival. Living in Florida all my life, this climate change was novel for me. We spent hours hiking (or really crunching) on snow-covered trails; we walked on Lake Michigan, the ice was so compact. (“See David, I always said you walked on water”, I teased my son.)
Not accustomed to sitting still, this week permitted me to do just that. My daughter-in-law, nestled into her sofa, knitted her way through countless mini-contractions as we watched old movies and reality television shows.
Maya (named that after a strong female character in one of the movies we watched) arrived on January 20th at 12:30 in the afternoon much to the delight of multiple grandparents and many friends. I wasn’t able to stay much longer after her birth. I anticipate many visits in the years to come. But I’m profoundly grateful God’s time-frame allowed me to spend this precious time with my kids as they perched on the precipice of parenthood, a time that will never be again.