Imagine this: it is a cool, windy November day and you are standing in a mob of people waiting to get into the saloon for a 2 o'clock matinee. The saloon, more a show venue than an actual house of hops, is an attraction in a popular amusement park in the Missouri Ozarks. The park features a "good old days" theme and, this time of year, is decked out in its Christmas finery.
Also in the crowd are four suspicious-looking women who turn out to be one grandma, two nanas, and one googie. I am the googie, and my cell phone rings. My son Teebo is on the line or in cyberspace, or wherever phone callers are in this world of cybercommunication.
I have been expecting this call, so I answer the phone rather quickly in a strained and slightly agitated manner: "What is it?" In my haste I virtually spit the words out.
"Hi, Mom. How are you guys doing?"
"Fine, Teebo. What is it?"
"Are you having fun?"
"WHAT IS IT? TELL ME NOW. WHAT IS IT?"
Long pause as my only son engages in this most cruel form of parental torture. Then finally, "It's a boy." And when Teebo said those three little words, I could actually hear him grinning from ear to ear. When he was little, we called this his "possum grin."
At the news my arms shot vertically in the air, cell phone and all, and I proclaimed to the crowd, "IT'S A BOY!" Immediately I was tackle-hugged by the two nanas and the grandma, and a huge cheer engulfed the entire area outside the saloon as the announcement proclaiming the gender of my fourth grandchild reverberated through the Ozark hills.
As it turns out, the line was too long for us to make it into the saloon for the show, so we meandered on down to a little country store where park guests could frost and decorate their own sugar cookie for $1. I used my little cup of green icing and the plastic knife that came with it to write "BOY" on the cookie in big green capital letters. (Good thing the baby will not be a girl--I was barely able to get three letters on the cookie.) One of the nanas snapped my picture as I was taking the first bite. It was a delicious cookie celebrating an equally delicious moment.
My new grandson is due to arrive on March 27. He will be taking Pooh's side to even the score between them and the two girls. I will try to explain to him, in my most tactful manner, that I had incorrectly predicted his gender as female, but will hasten to add that I am certainly not at all disappointed in his manhood. Once he arrives, I am sure it will take him all of three seconds, maybe less, to completely own Googie's heart. So about four months from now, this old blog should be lighting up and buzzing like a slot machine. Meanwhile, I will be scouting yard sales for baby BOY bargains and contemplating that perfect blog name so that you can get to know him too.
Nope, it is no secret that my fourth grandchild will be a boy. Just ask anyone who stood in the saloon line at Silver Dollar City just before 2 p.m. on Nov. 10, 2011.