This past Mother’s Day I got a new name. Since it was her special day we took my wife, Tammy, to EPCOT at Disney World for the afternoon. Our daughter, Ashlyn, and her husband, Josh, came along. As we sat in faux Italy for a mid-afternoon dinner Ashlyn presented Tammy with a gift. It was a set of “Celebrate Florida” toddler flash cards. Ashlyn said, “You’re going to need extra toys in the house with a new baby coming.”
I felt an immediate rush of heat run from my head to my toes. I had suddenly been given a new name: Grandpa. The only thing I could muster to say at the immediate moment was, “All our lives are going to change.” And, indeed, they will. But most certainly far more for the better.
It’s hard to explain how you can love a person not yet born. But it’s true. And it happens. I love that tiny little being more than words, as the old song goes.
It’s also true that there is added worry. Well, maybe not worry…but concern. I started worrying (ahem…being concerned) about Ashlyn almost immediately. But I’m so thankful she has such an incredible husband who cares for her so very well. I started worrying (um…being concerned) about the baby. My prayers have already included numerous petitions for the health and welfare of that precious one.
Ashlyn has an app on her phone to help her track her pregnancy (there’s an app for everything these days!). It references the current size of the embryo by comparing it to fruit. For a while it was a kumquat. Now it’s a lime. Our family gets a big kick out of that and texts jokes back and forth about it.
If I’m being completely honest, my new name is one to which I have very much looked forward. It’s a name that reminds me of two very special men in my own life. My grandfathers were funny, and wise, and generous, and faithful, and instilled in me the love of the news and sports, and they seemed to love me unconditionally. The grandfathers our children have are special, too. They have provided life lessons, encouragement, a spark of creativity, and a bit of engineering orderliness.
But now it’s my turn to take on that name. I hope and pray that I will be able to live up to the models I’ve had in my own life. I also hope and pray that I will be a picture of love to the little one that is coming into our lives. And I hope that little one will know very well just how much I love his/her mother and father. Even more, I hope that little one will know how much I love the whole family I’ve been given as a gift of God.
My new name is yet another gift from Him that is really just a small representation of the great gift of new life. What a gift it is. It is precious (and it is a life) even at this moment, still developing and being nurtured. It’s a picture of the unearned and undeserved nurture and love that each of us receives from a loving heavenly Father.
A new name is a wonderful thing.
When have you experienced the joy of a new name?