I remember the day Sooby was born a little over three and a half years ago. Certainly, the birthdates of all the grandkids were special, but Sooby's alone was pivotal. It was the day of my coronation as a grandmother. It was the day I became Googie, and I proudly wear that crown now ornamented with three shining little gems.
My daughter's hospital room that day was unfamiliar territory for our family. Shortly after Sooby's birth, we all ventured into it like so many clueless explorers, at once excited and wary of this new terrain. We passed Sooby around like a ritual object. We forged our way into the disfavor of the nursing staff with a bottle of champagne.
My son was holding Sooby when we all got the first indication of the great event to come. Solemnly (and, I might add, without wasting any time), he laid her in the middle of the hospital bed, and we all gathered around, looking down, anticipating. Then came the sweetest, faintest little grunt followed by a most discernible squirt-squish. We meet one another's eyes in wonder and awe: Yes, another new trail had been blazed: Sooby had pooped.
If a nurse had walked by the door at that moment, I can only imagine her rolling her eyes, clucking her tongue, and wagging her head in something akin to pity at the six grown men and women circling the red-faced, stocking-capped Sooby. "Figures," she probably thought. "That's what you expect with a champagne-induced stupor." Indeed, we must have looked ridiculous, reacting to a baby's first little dump as though it were some kind of miracle.
The truth is, it was a miracle. Think about it. Every day thousands or millions or however many babies burst out of bags of water and squeeze their way through impossibly small passageways into the light of this world. On some kind of cue beyond all human understanding, the tiny lungs begin to take in air and the vocal chords engage. The sucking reflex kicks in, and the digestive system is primed.
Without taking her eyes off the object of our admiration, my daughter reaches for the phone. "My baby just had her first bowel movement," she tells the nurse. We all look at each other, silently thank God for this miracle, and prepare for our refresher course on how to change a diaper.