A week ago we got the gender information from the nurse in an envelop. We kept in in our kitchen and promised not to peek. On Friday Ashley dropped off the envelop to the bakery– if it’s a boy, blue filling. If it’s a girl; pink. Sunday afternoon we picked it up, opening the cake box for a brief moment to see what it looked like and closing it in case we saw anything that might give it away. As soon as we got home we put the cake in the fridge and tried to forget about it. Monday night, the all family and friends came to watch us cut the cake.
I had game-time feelings as I was about to cut the cake. Athletes know what I’m talking about. The adrenaline is pumping. There’s a “let’s get this done” kind of attitude.
We cut the cake. I couldn’t find the pink or blue. Then Ashley yells (after, of course, a HUGE INHALE) “IT’S A GIRL!”
Because that’s what my brain did. For at least 10 seconds, I literally couldn’t speak. And not because I couldn’t think of the right words for the occasion (that doesn’t stop me from saying something, usually). I was tongue-tied because for those ten seconds my brain shut down every other sensory input mechanism to focus on one thing: the life of this little girl.
I’m not making this up for the sake of story. This happened to me. It wasn’t my life flashing before my eyes; it was Emma Grace Durso’s.
She was an infant.
She was a little girl on the playground.
She was a teenage girl in high school.
She was getting ready to go to college.
She was meeting boys (the hardest thought by far).
She was getting married.
She was having her own kids.
And then switch–back to reality.
Screaming all around. Flash photography going bonkers. Skype everywhere. Cake. Finally, after hugging Ashley and numbly fumbling around with the cake, I am able to speak.
And the words that I say are typical, athlete eloquence: “YEAH!” (at about 49 seconds in)
As you can tell, I am excited to meet Emma Grace. To hold her as an infant. To play with her on the playground (or in the playhouse). To help her with her homework. To send her off to college. To firmly (very firmly–awkwardly firmly) shake the hand of the boy she introduces me to. To walk her down the aisle. To be a grandparent (weird to already think of that). These will all be blessings I don’t deserve.
This morning I read the poem I wrote for my firstborn, before I knew it was Emma. I thought I’d repost the first stanza because it best describes my heart right now. (Even though line 5 is no longer true.)To my firstborn, I don’t know which direction you might go In life. I’ve never heard you cry, I’ve never heard a solemn sigh. And I don’t know your name just yet, but when I think of you I get A deep, abiding feeling of love, something before I’d only heard of— How a dad’s heart longs to hold; protect and keep within the fold of safety. How I wait to see your love surround our family. But more than anything, I pray, that you would love God more than day. — Emma’s life verse (chosen by Ashley) is 2 Peter 3:18
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”