Have you heard about Lisa Hendey’s new column, A Good Measure, hosted at Patheos.com? I’m enjoying the fresh, authentic voice Lisa provides there, and her writing, for me, is an unspoken reminder on the importance of being yourself in the New Evangelization. In her recent blog post titled Finding Focus, Lisa writes about “Panera dates” with her son Adam. They are spending many Sunday afternoons there working through the college application process. Her post brought back my own “Panera date” memory, and I shared it with Lisa in her comment box.
Popular blogger Seth Godin cautions other bloggers to be mindful of how much time we spend in the comment boxes. Rather, save the energy and time on writing new material. Given that writing a thoughtful, intelligent post right now feels more laborious than carving an entire cathedral out of solid rock, the thought that I might be “wasting” energy in other spaces hasn’t really been on my radar. I’m afraid to say or write most anything these days without asking my editor to proofread me. (And by editor, I’m referring to my adoring husband of 8 years.) So I’ve shied away from commenting anywhere. Then bam! After sharing my thoughts over at Lisa’s site, I realized I had done what Seth Godin warns of … I wrote a blog post in someone else’s comment box. Dangit! Oh how difficult it’s been to find the time AND clarity of mind to write lately. So as I journey through this writing dry spell, I’m stealing MY own material and sharing here today.
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What do rational people do when they know labor is imminent?
I woke up around 4:00 AM on August 31, 2009, and I just knew I was going to have a baby that day. Contractions indicated labor was imminent, but not quite immediate. So what does a rational person do in that moment? Of course, go to Panera to enjoy a cup of coffee and a light meal.
So there Joel and I sat, in the far-corner booth, enjoying one last meal as a family of two. Every now and then the contractions intensified, resulting in some grimacing and shifting in my seat … along with a few stares and raised eyebrows from fellow Panera patrons. The whole experience was thrilling, really. We were excited yet anxious, prepared yet clueless.
It always takes a few cups of coffee to get my wits about me. After sipping on the requisite amount that morning, reality set in. My water hadn’t broke and it might be more prudent to wait things out at home. So we headed back home and packed our bags for the hospital. Sure enough, just a few hours later, the contractions progressed and labor was now immediate. It all went rather smoothly and a little after 2:00 in the morning, I labored our first-born into this world. It was September 1, 2009 — Labor Day. I didn’t make my prediction for having an August 31st-baby, but I’m okay with how the story ended. It’s a little sweeter to say I labored on Labor Day.
Now every time I step inside Panera, I remember that day 4+ years ago when Joel and I sat there and chatted — filled with so much hope and anticipation. Our marriage and family has changed for good because of our daughter and now our son. Just as Lisa Hendey is enjoying Panera dates with her teenage son, I look forward to the day when I, too, will take our daughter to Panera, fill out applications, and tell her about the morning some 17 years ago when her father and I sat in the corner, drank coffee, and enjoyed one last meal together before welcoming her into the world.
And the moral of the story? Enjoy a date at Panera before giving labor, of course!
What “on the day you were born” stories do you share?