When Susie had her first born, Jonathan [aka Jonboy], I remember stewing around my apartment all day… trying to take my mind off the fact that she was there, in pain, having a baby. I tried thinking of anything and everything other than the fact that I didn’t know what was happening, if it was a girl or a boy, if he was close to delivery or if it would be hours.
Which means I basically thought of nothing else the entire day.
I’m not very good at diverting my attention.
So when the phone rang and she said, “I’m a mom…” I may or may not have let her get the words out that it was a boy before I grabbed my keys and headed for the door. I could not wait to meet that kid.
It wasn’t hard to imagine, then, that when her second baby was going to be induced, she told me to just go ahead and hang out in the waiting room with her mom. Chances were that I’d be there in record time anyway, and I’m guessing her husband Mark [a state trooper] didn’t want me using his kid as an excuse for whatever ticket I would get speeding to the hospital.
I already had 10 nieces and nephews and four godchildren, but I had never been told I could be at the hospital before. I can’t even tell you what that did for my excitement level. She and Mark had gotten there early to begin the induction, and I got the call to pick up about a million and ten things at the convenience store on my way there, since Mark had forgotten to get snacks. I came with supplies in hand, ready to wait for however long it took before this bundle arrived.
We sat around in the room, chatting and dreaming and wondering about this baby about to come into the world… mainly because Suz had an epidural and seemed to act like this was the easiest thing known to man. She was all baby, and he was a big one, so when I sat next to her on the bed and saw her stomach moving I was shocked to realize that I could see the little stinker hiccupping. I had my hand on her belly and felt the rhythm of his little breaths catching, when suddenly the nurse said it was time to get the pushing started.
Her mom, Linda, and I gave them hugs and went into an empty patient room… if someone could have captured the nervous energy between the two of us I’m pretty sure there would have been enough power generated to keep the lights on in the hospital for the rest of the day. Linda had recently gotten a new cell phone that had voice activated calling, so we had already decided we would pass the time by inputting phone numbers and setting up the program. We settled in and started adding names… about 10 minutes had passed when in strutted Mark like only a proud papa could.
“It’s a boy! Tyler’s here!”
TEN MINUTES. We were so excited and hugs were exchanged over and over as he walked us back down the hall… into the room… to meet this sweet little face:
Six years ago this week, my sweet Tyler James came into the world with his eyes wide open. Ready to soak in anything and everything that came his way.
Susie handed him to Linda, and then Linda passed him to me. And I couldn’t decide if I wanted to laugh or cry when I held that little body and it shook with a hiccup.
Now, I’m a smart girl. I know that he was the same little man inside her as he was when he took his first breath. But to feel her stomach shake when he’d catch his breath and then hold him as the hiccup continued was the closest I had ever been, or will ever be, to understanding that moment when a miracle enters the world. And what a miracle he has been.
I held him, smelled him and then got out my camera to capture the moments. And don’t even try to tell me that it’s impossible for babies to smile on the day they are born, because you will never convince me that he didn’t smile for me that day:
And he’s had us smiling ever since.
Our Jonboy took to being a big brother and has been so protective of Tyler. Ty calls him Buddy and it’s so fitting of their relationship… I love knowing the bond between the two of them will get them through so many happy and tough times in their lives.
And I’ll always be there, too. Even though I can’t always be in person, there is no doubt he has my heart. I’m pretty convinced that Susie asked me to be his godmother that day mostly because she was afraid I would never give him back to her without some sort of claim on him. :) I’m so grateful I got to be one of the first to welcome him into the world, and I’m so grateful to get to watch him walk through this world and become the person he is.
We love you, Ty. Always and always.