Gunning It has been a little quiet the last couple of weeks but for good reason...we were welcoming a new member of the Gunn Clan! William (Liam) John Gunn was born on January 8th at 3:04 pm. He weighed in at 8 pounds, 15 ounces and was 21.5 inches long. Our post on the Sandy Hook tragedy tried to explain the unexplainable. In it, we stated the belief that there is good and evil in this world and the murder of innocence in Newtown was the personification of evil. Fortunately for all of us, there is far greater good in the world than evil. Good is around us all the time. We may not stop long enough to witness it or fully appreciate it but it is envelops us. Some life experiences are so powerful, so intense and so purely good that we can't help but recognize it. The birth of a child is one of those experiences.
We are so absolutely fortunate to have experienced birth with great regularity. We experienced it with our son Nicholas, then our daughter Anna and now with Liam. We've experienced it fourteen other times as an Aunt and Uncle. Though we may have experienced it often, we don't take it for granted. The birth of a child is all that is right with the world. It is a magical, emotional event that brings some of the best of humanity to the forefront. Personal sacrifice, unconditional love, joy, family, generosity...it's all part of the experience. Gunning It is all about promoting the merits of an 'Experience Based Lifestyle' and showing how travel and other experiences bring a family closer together. Experiencing the birth of a new family member is the ultimate family experience.
Our experience started in the Spring when Margie surprised me with a wrapped present after one of Nicholas' baseball games. It was a watch box with a positive pregnancy test inside. The look on Nicholas and Anna's face when we said that we're having a baby was a couple of big smiles that will stay with me until the end. It continued over the Summer as we all heard the heartbeat in utero and started talking about whether the baby was a boy or a girl. By the Fall we started our nesting and Anna moved out of the nursery into her “big girl” bedroom. Christmas was especially memorable because of the added anticipation of our new arrival. Finally, the big day arrived. In our family, the birth of a child is a family event. Margie's Mom was in the delivery room with us and Nicholas, Anna and my Dad arrived shortly after Liam's birth. Before too long, my sister Maureen, her husband and three children visited. My sister Mary visited with my niece Erin. Calls, texts and Facebook messages poured in. The steady stream of visitors continued into the next day as Margie's friends visited and my sister Donna and niece Meggan visited. Anna and Nicholas arrived after school and set up camp in the hospital room as if it were our family room.
The birth experience wasn't all about the the hospital room though...with Margie in the hospital, her Mom, my Dad and I juggled the day to day home routine. My Dad got to experience Anna's stubbornness over lunch at Chick-Fil-A (she absolutely refused to go into the Men's bathroom to go to the bathroom!)...I picked Anna up from preschool and saw the proud smile on her face as she skipped out the door at 11 am each day...Nicholas was big man in second grade for a couple days as he was excused early from school and got all the extra attention from his teacher and classmates about the birth of his baby brother. One night as I was putting Anna to bed I asked if she wanted to do something after school the next day. She didn't hesitate and told me that she wanted to go to a “fancy restaurant”, get all dressed up and wanted me to get dressed up too. How could a Dad say no to that? We went to lunch at the Ship Inn the next day and had a great discussion about preschool, Irish dancing and why people put butter on rolls. The next day I offered to take Nicholas to lunch and take him anywhere he wanted. His choice? McDonalds...he said he doesn't get to go very often and just really wanted a cheeseburger. We talked about his basketball team, why soda isn't good for your body and about the 'round the world trip that our family is planning (not for another 5 years though!). I'll never forget how mature Anna looked as she sat across from me at the Ship Inn or Nicholas spinning around on his stool occasionally cracking his trademark smile.
Liam's birth was about welcoming Liam to the Gunn clan but it was about much more. It was a celebration of family, friendship and love. It was about many family members and friends coming together to help us celebrate. It was about taking a pause from our busy lives to spend extra quality 1:1 time together. It was all that is good in this world. It was the ultimate family experience.