I left Spring Meadows Bible Camp Wednesday and headed to preach Wednesday night at Highland Heights in Smyrna. From there I hit the road hard trying to drive as far as I could heading down to the Orlando area to speak at the camp there (Central Florida Bible Camp). My theory was to get as far as I could that night so I’d have less driving Thursday. I drove till about 2:30 and made it to the other side of Macon. That’s when my cell phone rang, 11:56. It was Philip. He and Laura were heading to the hospital, the doc was going to deliver the baby at 6:30 that night. I turned around at the next exit and headed north. With an hour time change to my advantage and a heavy foot I drove - only two stops - both to fill up with fuel. I called the folks where I was supposed to speak. I explained that my first grandchild would only be born once, so “thank you for understanding,” they were.
I got to the hospital at 5:45ish to see both Laura and Philip. Melanie was there and our other son, Andrew and his wife, Kadee had driven just as quickly up from near Mobile, Alabama. Laura’s folks and her sister were there as well.
At 7:14 little Lucas Austin was born. Philip and Laura like the name Lucas or Luke and Austin is after my dad (Jerry Austin). It’s a big family name (I count at least 7 Austin’s in the family tree). Then there’s the number “seven.” Melanie and I were married on August 7, her birthday is November 7, mine is August 27, Philip’s is September 7 and Andrew was born in 1987, we all have our “seven’s.” Lucas wins the prize: born 7/7 at 7:14 weighing 7.3 pounds.
Later that evening Melanie and I got to go back to the room and hold him. To be very honest I don’t feel like a granddad, but I am proud. I’m proud of Philip and Laura and the parents I know they will strive to be. I’m proud of Andrew and Kadee and their obvious love for Philip, Laura and Lucas. I’m proud of Melanie, how could I not be.
And he is a beautiful little baby. I don’t mind being a “cheesy” Paw-Paw, not sure I’m there yet...but I took more pictures than I’ve ever taken of a baby before and holding him just felt right. I could say more. Much more. And probably will. But for now, we praise God for this little HUGE blessing!
Here’s what is probably the first set of hundreds of pictures. So many you will get tired of them.