except the house wasn't quiet.
My wife was pacing a bit, dealing with some funky things her body was going through. She was 9 months pregnant, after all, and we figured the baby was on its way any day now...
except it wasn't daytime.
That was okay, though, because we had made arrangements with a local friend as well as my wife's sister to come and watch our house while our oldest son slept. At the time, he was 2 1/2 and fast asleep. So we decided to make our calls and get our local sitter to come over while we called my wife's sister...
except she didn't answer the phone.
And so with a bit of craziness happening, we somehow got a plan together to go to the hospital. I got the shirt I made for my wife that simply read, "YES - I WANT THE EPIDURAL." (When our first son was born the nurses missed that we wanted this procedure and it ended up being too late to do it when the baby came... I wasn't taking any chances so I had the shirt made up). As we got the bags ready, my wife went up to kiss our oldest son goodnight. It would be his last night as a single child... and it was worth soaking up. Our sitter arrived, and we started to head out...
except I stopped for a moment.
I looked at the TV and Conan was still on. Hmm... interesting that in the midst of all the chaos, the one visual thing that stayed consistent was the fact that Conan O'Brien was still on. Even tonight as my wife and I chatted about the big birthday stuff and said our goodnights, I pointed out to her that Conan was starting. Somehow we both knew what that meant and smiled about it.
Isn't it funny how some of the silliest things become memorable "altars" to significant moments? Like when I was sitting in my dumb gym outfit during high school P.E. and we all had to sit down next to smelly lockers while the principal told us the Space Shuttle Challenger had exploded... or the Mentos I ate all day on our wedding day (so that when people asked me if I was "nervous" I could show them the Mentos, eat one, and make like a B-level actor in an F-level commercial... even though they made me sick on my wedding night)... or the taste of a hard shell Taco Supreme I was eating at a dirty Grand Rapids Taco Bell when I realized what was happening on Septmember 11, 2001... sometimes significant moments have something very insignificant tied to them.
Somewhere through the night and into the morning, a son was born to us. We called him Daniel... but really, we called ourselves blessed.