Sharon Randall: Sit back and enjoy the wait
By Sharon Randall
Life often seems like a game of hurry up and wait.
Hurry to the market to get ice for a party, then wait in line to check out and watch it melt.
Hurry to call your husband to see if he wants to spend $400 to fix his car, then sit in a customer lounge listening to people talk on their cellphones while you wait for him to call you back.
Hurry to have a test that could change your life forever, then wait an eternity for results.
Hurry not to miss the birth of your grandchild, then hang out for two weeks waiting for that grandchild to be born.
I knew it was a gamble when I left Las Vegas, but it seemed like a fairly safe bet. My husband and I were awaiting the births of not one, but two grandbabies — one in Monterey, the other in Santa Rosa — 500 miles away.
His son’s girlfriend was due around the first of September. My daughter’s due date was two weeks later, mid-month.
I figured, if everything went as planned (yes, at times, I am a bit naive), I could fly back east to speak at a book club, spend a week with my family in the Carolinas and get back before any babies showed up.
But the day after I arrived at my sister’s house and settled in to watch reruns of “Everybody Loves Raymond,” my daughter called to say not to worry, but …
She’d had complications. They might induce labor early.
She’d know more the next day after getting test results.
What I heard, more than her words, was the tone of her voice — one she’d used as a little girl to wake me the night a stray cat climbed in her window.
“Mommy,” she’d said, with absolute calm, “something with big eyes is sitting on my bed.”
Not to worry, but …
Meanwhile, Hurricane Irene was moving up the coast, canceling flights. If I waited, I might not get out.
So the next morning, I flew from Charlotte to Phoenix to San Jose, rented a car and arrived in Monterey around 2 a.m. Wagon trains made that trip in less time. But I got there. Sometimes getting there is about the best we can do.
The following day, to my great relief, my daughter’s condition improved and we went right back to waiting. And waiting.
That was almost two weeks ago. Her due date is still more than a week away. I’ve debated flying home to Las Vegas for a few days to see if my husband remembers my name.
But I figure if I leave (yes, at times, I am smarter than I look), my daughter will go into labor and have that baby without me.
So I’ve decided instead to sit back and enjoy the ride.
That’s what I did some 30 years ago, in the two weeks between the date I was due to give birth to my daughter and the day she finally arrived. And she was worth the wait.
There is nothing wrong with waiting. It’s what we do with it that counts. We can wish life away, try to hurry it up.
Or we can slow down, take a breath and try to make the best of the moments we are given.
Waiting often comes with gifts. Arriving early has given me more time to spend with my youngest and his wife and my 1-year-old firecracker grandson.
To see my daughter’s Mona Lisa smile when she feels her baby kickboxing in her belly, and to watch her sweet husband lean down to kiss her head.
To have lunch with a friend and go to church at New Hope Baptist and sing “Glory to His Name” with a gospel choir.
But the best part of waiting is when it’s finally over. My husband just called to say his son’s girlfriend is in labor.
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Contact Sharon Randall at www.sharonrandall.com.