We got the call at 5:25 am in the morning. My son said that he and his wife were in the hospital, waiting to get a place on the delivery ward. We showered and came uptown and went to eat breakfast at one of our “baby diners”– diners around the hospital where we had awaited other babies. This one is one of those upper Manhattan diners, where every waiter is courteous, quick, and efficient. The place runs like a machine, especially at sunrise. I ordered a big breakfast, which came almost immediately. Then I slowed down and drank some “baby coffee”–coffee you drink while you are awaiting a birth. “Baby coffee,” in a diner, at sunrise, is some of the best coffee in the world. I remember very clearly the day that the baby’s father was born in San Francisco. Someone probably drank coffee and waited the day I was born in Enid, Oklahoma. Someone waited the day my father was born in Hobart, Oklahoma. I wondered what my other grandfather felt the day he helped my grandmother give birth to my mother in Yang Chow, China. In the generations before my grandparents, who sat at sunrise and who waited then? Somebody did.
We have to be knocked off our normal routine to think about time. We have to be forced to the hospital at dawn. Otherwise we seem blind to time. Psychologists tell us that the problem with blindness is that sometimes we are blind to the fact that we are blind. The new baby arrived at 1:06 pm that afternoon. Time.
Upside Down Devotion