This past Saturday morning at 2:13 a.m. my sixth grandchild, a beautiful little girl named Ruby Carolyn Bennett was born.
As a father and grandfather, I have observed from different perspectives the birth of five children. I’ve noticed the medical profession has had trouble figuring out what to do with men when it comes to the birth of their children.
When my son was born, I waited in a waiting room with a couple other nervous soon-to-be-dads puffing on a cigar (just kidding about the cigar, though it may have been a blessed distraction…nothing like coughing my lungs out to help pass the time).
When I was finally allowed to see my son, it was only through a thick glass with a nurse I had never seen before, holding my son who I had never seen before either. (I guess they kept the barrier between us because they were afraid of cigar smoke poisoning.)
Run the clock up a few years to the birth of my daughter and the medical profession had made drastic changes. I found myself in the birthing room in scrubs witnessing my wife giving birth to my daughter via a cesarean birth. Talk about a shock to a dad’s system!!! (I could have really, really used that cigar then!)
I’ll skip the details of the birth (you’re welcome).
But the sound of my newborn daughter’s first cry. I don’t really have words to describe it.
That memory came back to me as it became clear that Ruby Carolyn’s entry to our world was approaching.
Because my daughter chose to have a natural birth using a midwife in her own home, I was privileged to be present. And with me being present, I only had one goal. I didn’t need to be in the thick things (I had paid my dues with my own children!) But I did want to be there to hear my granddaughter’s first cry.
And boy did Ruby not disappoint. First there is the grand entrance, silence, waiting, hoping everything is okay…and then Ruby took a deep breath, squared her shoulders and announce with all her heart, “I am here, and I want to live.”
I have now been privileged to hear the first cry of a newborn twice. First my daughter, and then thirty-five years later her daughter.
What is it about the cry of a little baby?
As a younger man I used to get a little impatient with crying babies. But now, with the advent of six grandchildren entering my life, I have come to treasure those cries. Whether it is in a busy airport or restaurant, or at church or anywhere…the cry of a little baby moves me.
I could pontificate about this for way to long. But let me leave you with this thought…
The ONE THING for today: Before making your final decision about an issue, weigh it in light of a baby’s cry.
What if world leaders and generals measured their actions in light of a baby’s cry?
What if moms and dads, pastors and civic leaders, police and pimps, and activist and senators weighed their actions in light of a baby’s cry?
Life if fragile, hard, and precious. We need each other. Babies remind us of this when they cry.