Tuesday, May 31, 2016
I still can’t believe I’m a grandfather. Now I realize in West Virginia I’d be a great-great grandfather already, but here in California and still having the mindset of a fifteen year-old, it’s a little hard to grasp.
I still don’t know what to call myself. For the moment I’m going with Big Papi (I’m a member of Red Sox Nation).
Matt & Kim live in Silicon Valley and her due date was over a week ago, so my wife and I have been on 24/7 alert. Picture the classic DICK VAN DYKE SHOW episode where Rob practiced grabbing his hat from the headboard to he could get to the hospital eleven nanoseconds sooner.
We got the word from Matt at 6 A.M. on Thursday that they were in the hospital. We then grabbed the first flight to San Jose. (Forget about getting great airline deals when you book last minute. We could go to Yugoslavia in November for what the 300 mile flight to San Jose cost.)
We packed, bought tickets, made hotel reservations, and jumped in my car. By the time we got to LAX we got a text from our son that Rebecca had been born at 8:08 AM and that everyone was doing fine. Through the wonders of overpaying airlines, we arrived at the hospital at 11:00.
Kaiser-Permanente is the first hospital I’ve ever been to where the parking is free. You can’t find a space, but still. In Los Angeles, parking at hospitals cost more than heart operations.
It’s the miracle of life. And covered by insurance. I will spare you the maudlin paragraph describing the profundity of this blessed event. That’s what Facebook and the Hallmark Channel are for.
I look forward to many days playing with her, bonding with her, drawing pictures, reading stories, and playing tapes of when I used to call Seattle Mariners games.
My wife, Debby, who was an amazing mom and has such a knack for swaddling babies you’d think she made burritos at Taco Bell – stayed until yesterday. It’s always nice to have a little extra help when you first bring the baby home because when that door shuts you’re terrified out of your skull. I went home Saturday because, well… I’m useless. Rebecca will be able to connect with me much better when she starts watching MASH reruns. So in a year.
Annie & Jon drove back on Saturday so I hitched a ride with them. Saved that plane fare, which was the equivalent of a one-way first class ticket to Mars. Not a lot of traffic in the middle of the holiday weekend except around Gilroy. Yes, there’s congestion but also the promise of fruit stands. We took the shortest route, which goes through the Central Valley. 200 miles and the big highlight was seeing a cow.
The rest of the journey was uneventful. Unfortunately, Annie & Jon couldn’t just drop me off at home. They had to take me to LAX to pick up my car. And, as usual, the 405 was packed. Why? It’s a lazy Saturday afternoon. There are not even fruit stands along the way.
Who knows what technical advances she will see in her lifetime? What morons run for president? How many times bell bottoms will be back in style? Those of us growing up in the last century figured we’d be living the life of the Jetsons by now. Maybe she’ll have a car that turns into a briefcase. But whatever the future holds she can assured that I LOVE LUCY reruns will still be available.
I love you, Rebecca. Have a healthy, happy, long, and wonderful life.
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM