Saturday, February 19, 2011


There I was, writing a novel based on the life of my great-grandfather, Lawrence Dade Greenlaw, when the telephone rang and my daughter informed me that it was time for me to travel to Covington, Louisiana to become a great-grandmother. “Hay la bas,” I thought, “I have the distinction of being the only living great-grandparent in the family now!” I arrived about 15 minutes after Alexander Charles Romero made his appearance and was privileged to see his “clean-up” through the glass window of the nursery at St. Tammany Hospital. So far, he has done very little screaming, and I anticipate a placid great-grandson. If he does have an unruffled disposition, he’ll be an anomaly because most of us in this family constellation are “pretty intense,” as one of my close friends says.

Birth is blessing. Birth is gift. Alexander, with his perfectly round head of thick black hair and his sweet fat cheeks, is both blessing and gift. On the right is a photograph of Kristin, the beautiful mother, cuddling Alexander. His parents, grandparents, friends, and great-grandparents surrounded and photographed him at every conceivable angle just after his birth and introduced him to birth love, something he cannot reciprocate right now, but will soon learn to express within the circle of protection and caring he has begun to experience.

Alexander's first day is shown on Facebook in many photos. Without a doubt, you’ll recognize the ascendancy of  French, Spanish, Italian, and Indian ancestries when you view his beautiful coloring and raven-colored hair. As I told both parents, “you helped make a beautiful baby.” Of course, the parent of all Creation gave him perfection, but that multi-mix of bloodlines contributed a lot to his handsome appearance.

As an ordained person, many scriptural passages about children have passed through my mind in the last few days, but I’ve also thought about the passage from The Prophet concerning children, and the one preponderate line reads:
“You may house their bodies but not their souls…you are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth…let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness… for even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.”
That’s a tall order for new parents but one that bears thinking about, whether you’re parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent. Alexander is a gift wrapped in a profound time --and a joyful time -- when all of us feel not only sappily sentimental but enchanted with the goodness of new life and are thankful.

On the left is a photo of Martin, the father, dressed in his white “haz-mat” delivery outfit, which he wore all day to impress family and bystanders that he was a new father. When someone finally called attention to the fact that he was still wearing the strange outfit, he said, “I didn’t even know I had it on.” I’m not sure about the veracity of that statement, but while he was dressed in this white jumpsuit he certainly presented a “Kodak moment.”

My grandson, Martin, doesn’t like for me to even say the words, “the only great-grandparent left,” because he thinks I may not be around long enough to carry out this role of great-grandmere, but I hope to sojourn here for an extensive spell just to see this little creature soar.

Welcome to the world, Alexander the Great. May your future life be as blessed as the blessing you’ve given us,
“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).
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