It’s déjà vu all over again!
That’s how Yogi put it and Yogi is a smart man, despite the fact that he has become a cult hero of sorts for the way he expresses himself in regards to the English language.
Twenty-nine years ago, as autumn approached, my lovely wife, Lisa, was great with child. We weren’t called to any particular city to be counted and render to Caesar what was Caesar’s. The census-takers came to us back then and they took our taxes right out of our meager paychecks, before we even saw it.
When Lisa’s appointed day arrived they, luckily for us, had plenty of room for us at Rockdale Hospital — where Lisa, herself, had been born. In fact, Lisa was employed as a nurse at that very hospital—the same hospital where we had extended our honeymoon three years earlier — but that is a different story for a different day.
Throughout the summer we looked at the due date circled on the calendar and counted down the days until our first child would be born. This was the days before cell phones, remember, so I kept a very tight tether on myself. Woe be it unto me if my first child came while I was too far away to get to the birth place on time. For weeks and weeks I stayed close to home. On Labor Day night, former cotton farmer David Hays joined me in my living room as we watched Mike Shula and the Alabama Crimson Tide break our Georgia Bulldog hearts with a touchdown pass in the closing seconds of the season’s opening game in Sanford Stadium. Not many people would stay home from Athens to watch and wait with a buddy, but he damn sure did.
The son we were told we were about to have — verified by the newest in medical technology, the sonogram — was stubborn. The son turned out to be a daughter, of course, and she has never quite gotten over the stubborn part. Jamie Leigh Huckaby was going to enter the world on her own terms. Finally, when she was couple of weeks overdue, according to the doctor’s best calculations, they allowed us to check into the hospital so that labor could be induced.
It wasn’t as easy as it sounded. Lisa was pretty stubborn herself, and despite the best drugs modern medicine could provide, it took 30 hours of labor and an eventual C-section for Jamie Leigh, all 10 pounds, 3 ounces of her — to see the light of day for the first time.
She was worth waiting for, y’all. I promise. And if you have ever seen her you know that she has always been the spitting image of her mama — but she’s always been crazy about her daddy.
Well I told you all of that to tell you this. A year ago I walked my beautiful daughter down the aisle at the UGA chapel and gave her hand in marriage to Chris Fairchild, who has become the best son-in-law I have ever had. Jamie and Chris surprised us at Christmas time with the news that the stork was making a special delivery in August — practically on the eve of their first wedding anniversary. Aug. 2 was to be the day, so we circled the calendar and we bought every cute item of clothing we could find and we waited — and waited — and waited.
When the supposed due date came and went with no baby — nor any signs of one — Jamie’s doctor had her check in to Northside Hospital — where about 1,200 babies a month are welcomed into the world. The plan was that she and Chris would handle the experience and call us when the birth of our first grandchild was imminent.
That’s not quite how it has gone down. Eager to see my grandson’s face — medical technology has become more accurate over the past 29 years — I suggested that Lisa and I get a hotel room close to the hospital so we would be on hand should something come up.
Jamie checked in on Monday night and they started giving her the drugs they give women when they want to encourage labor to begin. We were to wait in our room, a mile away, until we got the call to come and join the party.
Lisa didn’t even give me time to open my suitcase or turn on the TV. As soon as we walked into our room she said, “I’m going over there.”
Over there is where we went. Talk about a flashback! Jamie looked exactly like Lisa did when she was in the hospital room waiting to give birth to Jamie. Exactly. Once Lisa assured herself that Jamie Leigh was in good hands, I was able to finally tear her away and we drove back to the hotel to sleep and await the phone call.
It didn’t come. We drove back to the hospital first thing in the morning and, as of this writing, here we sit — still waiting — just like we did 29 years ago.
Ah, the magnificent circle of life. I was hoping I could introduce my new grandson to my readers today, but it looks like we will all have to wait just a little bit longer.
At least there is not a football game scheduled until Aug. 30.