August 14, 2013

Mark Millican: And then there were five ... boys!

It’s become a periodic guessing contest — cued up by my daughter’s pregnancies — since she and her husband flaunt recent tradition and refuse to learn what gender their newborn child will be until he shows himself in delivery.

I say “he” because she’s 3-for-3 in boys as of last week. To be honest, after four grandsons total most of our family was kinda hoping a little girl might make the scene and perhaps help civilize her brothers and male cousins during their coming front-yard antics together. And that sentiment also broadened among friends of the family, such as the staff of the Times-Courier where Amy worked for awhile when she was a student at Gilmer High School.

In fact, our office manager — who does not want me to use her name in a column (but it rhymes with “Lisa”) — got in the habit of asking me how “Little Susie” was doing as the pregnancy progressed. I went along with her moniker and gave updates as they arrived from Alabama, then she and Amy got to emailing each other and “Pop” again became the last to know.

Incidentally, the name “Susie” made me think of growing up as a boy and visiting one of my uncles and aunts in South Carolina along with my own two brothers. They had the 8-track cassette of Johnny Cash’s “At Folsom Prison” recorded live with the inimitable “A Boy Named Sue.” I would play that tape over and over and chuckle along with the inmates who were roaring with laughter about the lyrics. I imagined them thinking, “I may be in here for (such-and-such) felony, but at least my dad didn’t name me Sue before he ran off!”

But I digress.

Jokingly, I had told Amy she was not to have “it” on a Monday or Tuesday, since both are heavy production days as we head into deadline for our weekly issue. She knows the drill. Then I got the call last Tuesday — they were going to induce labor on Thursday since she had reached her due date. Good girl.

But the ’Bama gang had failed to tell Pop and Gran (Teresa) how seriously their oldest son, Reece, 4, was taking this gender issue. Evidently he had picked up on the family’s hopes and desires for a girl and decided that’s exactly what “it” was going to be. He would bristle when someone at their church guessed it was going to be a boy — “It’s a girl!” he would proclaim — and when one of us would try to extend counsel and let him know it could quite possibly be a boy, he would hear nothing of it.

So we’re in the hospital on Thursday and Devin’s father, James, and I had taken the boys down to the play area. Before lunch I got a call from Devin — “You guys want to come see the baby?” Immediately I asked if it was a boy or a girl.

“Don’t you want to wait and see when you get here?”

“Sure,” I replied, knowing how the nurses wrapped the little bundles of joy in a blanket right after they’re born so they look like a cocoon.

How was I going to tell?

Devin met us in the hall and as we were walking toward the delivery room I picked up that he said “he” in a sentence about the newborn. So then I knew — but how would Reece respond?

We walked in and Amy said, “Reece, Abel, you’ve got a little brother!”

It was the most amazing thing to see. I’m sure Reece heard the announcement, but his bright blue eyes were locked onto that new little brother with the most wonder and love I believe I’ve ever seen. All his resistance melted away and I felt my own eyes welling with tears — because it didn’t matter anymore whether it was a boy or girl, just that he had arrived.

And my little girl was OK too.

Later, I became even more thankful as Teresa recounted to me how the physician had stopped the delivery when she discovered the umbilical cord tightly wrapped around the baby’s neck — thankful for all the prayers and an on-her-toes doctor who knew exactly what to do.

It took them two days to name the child, and so he became Wyatt Joshua Wright.

Anything but Susie.

Text Only
  • We must do better

    The numbers tell a sad tale.
    Registered voters: 36,843.
    Cards cast: 5,307.
    That means the turnout for Tuesday’s runoffs in Whitfield County was a measly 14.4 percent, according to unofficial results from the Whitfield County elections office.

    July 23, 2014

  • Letter: Control immigration

    Thousands are starting to pour into our country, and things are getting personal. Why would we end up the bad guys if we turn away children who aren’t ours? How does it make us better people to let one man steal from our children and stand by and do nothing?

    July 23, 2014

  • Helping with Book Blast betters the community

    The school test results are in, and students in Whitfield and Murray counties mostly improved from a year ago, mirroring or exceeding average scores of their peers.

    July 23, 2014

  • Mark Millican: Guns are already everywhere

    Though it happened over 30 years ago, the image is still vivid.

    July 22, 2014

  • Charles Oliver: Former officer works overtime improperly

    Stephen F. Hall has pleaded guilty to theft by deception and falsifying a government record.

    July 22, 2014

  • Dalton council should seek answers

    Judicial elections in this area are usually pretty staid. In fact, they are generally nonexistent, since most judges run unopposed.

    July 21, 2014

  • Letter: Something to think about

    It has been better than four months now since Malaysia Flight 370 went missing. During that time we have heard all kinds of speculation, conjecture and opinions as to what happened to it. The only certainties to emerge are that the Malaysians fumbled the ball early on and there are some understandably distressed loved ones left to deal with their losses.

    July 21, 2014

  • Don’t forget the runoff

    Most folks are either getting ready for or still recovering from their summer vacations. So it’s easy to forget that Tuesday is an election day. A runoff election day to be precise.

    July 20, 2014

  • Be excited about a new grocery store, but stay loyal to the Green Spot

    The Daily Citizen reported on the front page of the July 15 newspaper that Dalton could get a new grocery store.

    July 19, 2014

  • John O. Schwenn: Making college completion easier

    There are, within the state of Georgia, an estimated 1.1 million adults who started a college degree program and never finished.

    July 19, 2014