We traveled to Chicago twice to meet him, but he didn’t come until the day after we left the second time.
The first time was just wishful thinking. We had a long weekend near his due date. And we like Chicago. So we spent Easter weekend at the Whitehall Inn on the Gold Coast, living the life of the idle rich. And spending time each day with our son Michael and his family. (Just for the record, we are neither rich nor idle.)
But we didn’t really expect the baby to arrive. We just wished he would.
Last Wednesday morning, however, we did expect him to arrive. Past his due date, the midwives decided they should try to induce labor early Wednesday, so we left work at noon and drove to the hospital in driving rain, stayed around a few hours and then drove home again, about 4 hours each way.
Between working, driving and waiting it was about a 20 hour day. But I’m not complaining. Karina was in labor longer than that.
They had decided to discontinue the pitosin drip about 8:30 p.m. and let Karina rest—starting again the next morning. And our eighth grandchild, Elias, made his appearance about 1:30 that afternoon, Thursday.
So Katie and I haven’t met him yet, although we made a valiant effort. And our next window is next weekend. He will probably be walking and talking by then.
This is not unusual, given the far-flung empire of our clan. My last two grandsons were born in Tallahassee and Seattle, and it took months to finally meet them. But I came close enough to welcoming Elias to make a few observations about his arrival.
And this is what I have to say to him about that.
First, young sir, you have a lot to be thankful for and a lot to look forward to. You are blessed to be wanted, loved, waited for and celebrated, by your parents, your sister, your grandparents and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
We could see the contractions on the monitor—but barely on her face. She drew on deep reserves, anticipating, as with your sister, a long and painful process. This was more than stoicism. It was more than a tolerance for pain. It was a resolute contemplation of joy to come.
You will, I expect, draw often on this reserve. Her love will steady you and her spirit will encourage you and her faith will sustain you. Some young men have mothers who drain them, even scare them. Some men have moms who are fragile and clingy and explosive. You are not one of those men.
And I’ll tell you this too. Your dad, my son, knows how to love your mom. Watch him closely and you will learn how to love her too. And to love your own wife someday, in a sanctifying, covenant-keeping way. As a dad I was proud of the way your father supported her and cherished her in that delivery room this week. Watch him closely and learn from him.
And listen to them both: Forsake not your father’s instruction and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck (Proverbs 1:9):
Bind [their teachings] on your heart always,
tie them around your neck.
When you walk they will lead you;
When you lie down they will watch over you;
And when you awake they will talk to you.
For the commandment is a lamp
and the teaching a light (Proverbs 6:21-23)
So welcome, Elias Daniel Metts.
To a life already greatly blessed.
If you are on Facebook, here is a link to Michael’s album and post for his new son.