It’s not often one of life’s most embarrassing moments can also be part of one of life’s most exciting moments.
Several years ago, early in our marriage, my wife, Linda, and I had two sons, Sean and Scott. And I thought we were pretty well set. I was working as a social worker and she as a nurse. Two kids, our first house, living in a small town where we were active with friends, family and church. As Danny Kaye sang in the Court Jester, “Life could not possibly better be.”
Then, it began to feel that maybe there was something missing from this life. My wife thought we needed a little girl to make our family complete. I was thinking along the lines of a convertible. The boys were thinking a pony was all we needed.
We decided—I think my wife used home-made apple pie to persuade me—to try for a daughter. I mean the boys were seven and five. Toilet trained, in school, big enough to help with chores.
Well, Linda got pregnant. This was back before sonograms were routinely done so we went through the pregnancy not knowing if it was a boy or a girl, but believing for a girl.
On Sunday, two days later, our boys and I went to the family program at our church. This was in the days when hospitals and insurance companies let the mothers stay in the hospital more than twenty-seven minutes after delivery. So Linda was still in the hospital, bonding with our daughter.
During the family program, I had to use the rest room. In God’s perfect timing, while I was using the facilities—and unbeknownst to me—the nun running the program announced to the group Linda had the baby and it was the girl we were believing for.
I came back into the main room to an all but standing ovation. My first thought was I didn’t know the toilet flushed that loud.
My confusion was quickly cleared up.
God blessed us with another girl and boy in the years following.
But none of the births topped Shannon’s for timing of the announcement.