Understated delivery has life-changing impact

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 20, 2007

Scanning the e-mail’s subject line, the words “press release” did little to grab my attention. After all, I get hundreds of similar messages each day.

For such an understated delivery, this message would herald a life-changing delivery of a different sort.

My curiosity was piqued after I realized that this was in my home e-mail and that it had been forwarded by my wife.

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Still not grasping the gravity of the situation, I casually clicked on the attachment.

The header read, “Parents-To-Be-Research,” and the words “Press Release” were printed in big, bold letters above the May 27, 2007, date.

“Test Comes Back Positive,” the headline read.

Even as dense as I am, it started to seep into my thick skull.

Still, I felt like I was reading in slow motion and it seemed my brain was filled with a fog and had to carefully digest each and every word.

“Woman takes pregnancy test and nearly faints when the test comes back positive,” the text read.

I wanted to scream or jump up and down or cry or something, but I was fully and completely stunned, more so than ever before in my life.

I was mesmerized. I had to keep reading.

“After many months of trying and not expecting the positive result, Rae Ann Caldwell could not believe it. She immediately jumped in her car and sped to a local store to buy another test, which again came back positive,” the message continued.

“Her husband, Michael Caldwell, will without a doubt be just as surprised as his wife — He’s going to be a daddy!”

My wife’s sense of humor was not lost on me as I came to terms with one simple fact: Our lives were about to change with the arrival of our first child.

As a thirty-something year old, I had heard that little piece of advice over and over again for years. It only took a few seconds and those five simple words — “going to be a daddy” — to really drive that message home.

By then my wife was standing in the doorway smiling ear-to-ear. I couldn’t give her a giant hug quick enough or long enough. I am sure that each and every parent can share their own story of how they found out the big news.

That was nearly three months ago and our lives are already starting to change. We feel blessed already from all the support and kindness shared with us by friends and strangers alike.

One unfortunate bit of fate is that a ruptured disk in my wife’s back has caused a few complications but with great medical care and lots of prayers, we hope that this will only be a small chuckle in the stories we tell one day.

We are only about four months into this journey and already are overflowing with excitement and anticipation for all the joys that are to come.

Now I have but a small taste of what all those well-wishers were talking about when they said that a child would change our lives.

Already I am looking at my home differently. Is the hardwood floor safe? Are the table corners too sharp? Is there too much stuff on low tables?

Every dollar I spend now gets looked at with new eyes as I think about the ramifications. Should we be saving more? Do I really need that extra cheeseburger?

All these thoughts — and lots of prayers — run through my head daily.

I can only imagine how we will feel on that wonderful day when a new life enters this world.

No e-mail message will be needed this time. I will be right there to accept this delivery.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Ironton Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at mike.caldwell@irontontribune.com.