A.C. Arrives With Much Fanfare

“She is pushing! She has a little hair! Can see it!” Such were the first words of communication, via text, from step-son
Marshall Bailey, as I was among the many family members from Bruce,
Calhoun City, Derma, Olive Branch, and Caruthersville, Missouri,
huddled in the waiting room of Baptist Hospital in Oxford last Friday
anxiously awaiting word on our first grandchild.


“She is pushing! She has a little hair! Can see it!”
Such were the first words of communication, via text, from step-son Marshall Bailey, as I was among the many family members from Bruce, Calhoun City, Derma, Olive Branch, and Caruthersville, Missouri, huddled in the waiting room of Baptist Hospital in Oxford last Friday anxiously awaiting word on our first grandchild.
I announced the text as soon as it was received on my phone to the delight of the families, while wondering how Marshall was texting at that moment. Marshall had joked previously with his wife Whitney Nelson Bailey that he would be holding his new video camera in one hand and catching the baby with the other. We knew better.
Marshall has been squeamish to say the least all of his life. He was the classic chain-reaction puker during his school days at Bruce. I’ve even seen it at home. One of the dogs would toss something up, and off Marshall would go racing toward the bathroom.
The idea that he could remain upright during the birth would be an accomplishment. He did that to the surprise of some while even managing to provide play-by-play on his phone.
“She had her! And she has good lungs,” came moments later to my phone.
Whitney’s mother Kim Pylate couldn’t stand the distance of the waiting room so she ventured down the hall to peer through the frosted double doors leading to the birth wing of the hospital. Lisa joined her, the two of them just hoping for a sound or something to end the suspense. I made the trek down the hall to share Marshall’s texts.
“She had her?” Kim and Lisa said almost in unison with eyes big as saucers.
What we thought might take all day, only took what seemed like minutes.
We had barely been allowed to digest the fact that our 6-pound, 7 ounce granddaughter Addison Claire Bailey had arrived, when we were invited back to the room to see her for the first time.
She is as beautiful as her mother and as loud as her father.
Irresistible blue eyes, dark hair, wrapped in pink, Addi Claire was the absolute highlight of our Christmas.
We had just returned from Clinton on Christmas day where my nephew and niece – Chad and Maddie McNeece – were the life of the party and the unquestioned joy for my parents. I could relate to their pride in their grandchildren for the first time Friday while holding “A.C.”
Children were never in my plans. That just wasn’t me. Then I met Lisa and next thing I knew I had a 12 and 15-year-old.
Marshall and Jo Ellen became important pieces to my life which I have taken great pride in with my front row seat for their growth to adulthood.
Sitting at the hospital most of the weekend, ogling over A.C., I couldn’t help but think this is the best of times for me.
I had the great fortune to bypass all the parts of parenting that didn’t appeal to me and fast-forward straight to being a grandparent.
Clarion Ledger columnist and dear friend Sid Salter told me this little girl is going to wrap me around her finger, and I will enjoy every minute of it. I can see that already.
I still have a lot of traveling in my plans, a lot of Harley rides, a lot of football games, a lot of great restaurants still to visit, but my primary mission now has changed to make Addison Claire Bailey the most rotten, spoiled little girl on the face of the earth.
I think I’m up to the challenge.

You may email Joel McNeece at joelmcneece@tycom.net

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