Tuesday, February 28, 2012

An Unexpected Arrival

In my journalism training in college, I was taught that most people don't read a full article in the newspaper, so each article should be frontloaded with all the important information, with details getting less important as the article progresses. This sounds like a recipe for self-fulfilling prophecies. In any case, for those who just want the details, here they are:

Thomas Lynn was born February 12, 2012, at 10:26 p.m. He weighed six pounds, three ounces, and measured twenty inches long. Both mother and baby are fine.

There. Now you know. The rest is just details.

Thomas's scheduled due date is tomorrow. I was really excited about this and thought being born on the 29th would be awesome for a few reasons. Most notably, he would have a noteworthy birthday. Ancillary benefits would include not becoming "of age" technically until we wanted him to (driving age at 64!) and buying fewer presents over the course of his lifetime. But as you can see above, he did not arrive on the 29th.

That is, however, when we were planning for him to arrive. Not necessarily on the dot, but most people had told us, "Oh, your firstborn never arrives on the date. He's almost always late." We thought we had built in a buffer for several of our other activities.

One of these activities was preaching. Our pastor had asked me to preach again before baby arrived. (That was a common phrase throughout the pregnancy--there was a long list of things that needed to happen "before baby arrived.") February 12 seemed far enough out that baby wouldn't disrupt the preaching. Still, I organized a back-up to take my place should Thomas arrive early. "I always manuscript my sermons," I told him. "You can just read it for me if I don't make it. No big deal."

Well, I didn't manuscript my sermon. I decided at the last minute to throw away the crutch of a manuscript and to try "extemporaneous delivery," as I learned to call it in speech class. I reasoned that there was very little chance of Thomas coming without leaving time for me to preach.

Despite Thomas's best efforts at keeping me from the pulpit, I did preach on the morning of February 12 (caught on video here--forgive the ums, etc.), on one of my favorite stories from the Bible. (The lectionary passage was 2 Kings 5, the healing of Naaman the Syrian.) It was only afterward--and after teaching Sunday school--that Abby revealed she was in pain...but not so much as to skip our weekly Sunday lunch at Costco, or the free samples that inevitably follow. Thomas arrived almost exactly ten hours later.

Thomas has been in the world for a little over two weeks now, and it's hard to imagine life without him. I'm so glad he's here with us, and that he arrived early (he'd just be coming tomorrow!)...even if it was a close shave for my preaching backup.

And here's a picture, the least I can offer for those of you who read the details: