That phone call was from the eldest son, Kye. He and lovely wife Sara were at the hospital and the baby was due momentarily. Could we come down to the hospital right away?
I did grab a quick shower and Noah canceled our dinner plans over at the girlfriend's and we headed out with nothing but a quick stop at Mc'D's and to grab a one-time use camera. By the time we arrived, Baby McCord was already 35 minutes born.
He's very beautiful. A thick head of dark hair scrunched down by the obligatory stocking cap. A dimple is on the end of his nose. Mom looked radiant. Tired, exhausted maybe but radiant none the less. She had gone into labor this morning about 1AM but had elected to stay at home until they were both really sure that it was time. When her water broke, they decided it was time! So there were no complications and mom and baby were doing just fine.
Lucky for me I had just stopped earlier today at the smoke shop where I buy my usual cigars. I even took a quick look at the celebratory, "Its A Boy" cigars but did not see a brand that I thought anyone would actually enjoy smoking. But at least I had my regular smokes in my pocket and when the nurses came in for a bit of a check on mom's circumstances, Noah, Kye & I went outside for a smoke.
So we stood in the dark and the cold for a bit doing the thing that men have done since the invention of fire. I gave him a big hug and he told me how surreal the whole circumstance had been for him so far. We talked about Noah's birth which Kye had been a part of since Noah was born at home with a midwife's presence. One of the most treasured photographs in our family is of Kye, 4 years old and curly headed, wearing his pjs, holding his minutes-old baby brother. We talked about lots of stuff and nothing at all but we shared the moments while fatherhood began to sink into his reality.
Later we headed back upstairs for a few more minutes with mom and baby and we took a couple pictures that later I'll get posted. In leaving, I reminded Sara that the real adventure starts now, with a lifetime of parenting and all the challenges it brings.
I'm certain that the two of them, now 3, will be ready for the challenges.
On the way home I said a silent prayer of thanks and asked for a blessing for this new family. I'm reminded that I might extend this same prayer for them, with them, tomorrow or the next day.
But no name for Baby McCord tonight. Mom is still trying out Aston or Gabriel. I suggested that a fine middle name might be Wright, since his birthday is the same as the first day of the Wright brother's success at Kitty Hawk.
Anyway, its official. I'm a grandpa. And it feels mighty good.