Sunday, August 07, 2005

Don't Let That Baby's Feet Touch The Ground Until We Cross The St. Marys River!!


When I first learned I was going to be a Daddy, I was a Park Ranger at Fort Pulaski National Monument near Savannah, Georgia. We lived in Savannah for three years and it is a neat place...but...it is not Florida.

As the 9 months progressed...I quietly pondered over my dilemma. This baby would be the 11th generation in a Florida family that dated back to a time when Florida was not part of the United States. (History lesson: Spain owned Florida longer than the U.S. has)

I don't know why this was so important to me, but I really wanted this kid to be a Floridian...not a Georgia Peach. (No offense Georgia...you are a wonderful place)

The Florida line was only about 2 hours south of Savannah on I-95. Would it be possible to race to a hospital in Fernandina just over the St. Marys River and just inside Florida? I pictured the scenario...

She: " Honey, wake up! It's time, the baby's coming!"

Me: "Huh, what?"

She: " Get up! I am having a baby!"

Me: " Okay, Let's go"

In the car:

She: "Where are you going? The hospital is that way! Why are we on I-95 south?!!"

Me: " I was thinking, if we hurry we can have this baby in Florida. We'll call ahead to the hospital in Fernandina so they know we'll be arriving in 2 hours. Just do that keagle thing they taught us in La Maze class."

She: (head spinning completely around)" MISTER! TAKE THIS CAR TO CANDLER HOSPITAL IN SAVANNAH RIGHT NOW!

Okay, that plan probably wasn't going to work.

Back to the drawing board. Eventually, I came up with a compromise. I shared it with my wife.

Me: "Um, I have a little request for when the baby comes."

She: "What is it?"

Me: " I know the baby is going to be born here in Georgia, but I don't want it's feet to touch the ground...the actual earth, until we are in Florida."

She: "What? Why?

Me: " Well, technically, the baby hasn't really..uh...landed until it touches the earth. I would like that moment to be in Florida so she will be a real Floridian."

She stares at me, brow wrinkled, ...head NOT spinning: "Okay."

Me: "Sweet!"

So, for two weeks after Katie was born, we were the Baby Altitude Enforcement Team.

"Why yes, you can hold Katie, just don't let her touch the ground."

"Hey!! You're holding her a little low aren't ya'?

Eventually, those two weeks passed and it was time to go home to Florida for Christmas. We all went out on my parent's yard, took off her little sockies and gently touched her bare feet to the St. Augustine grass.

For the first time in the two weeks since her birth, I relaxed...

"Welcome to Earth, Katie."

7 comments:

sanity gal? said...

Thought this story was very sweet and touching, not many parents even think about heritage anymore. Make sure your son knows his family roots.

pablo said...

That's a really good story. It's why I keep visiting your blog every day.

Zanne said...

Great plan!!! I wish my dad would have thought about it, but unfortunately when I was born in Chicago it was 1947 and it was a three DAY drive to Florida. I'm trying to count back and I think my dad was only 6th generation. Well not really cause his gramma was a Seminole, although they were originally from further north, driven into the swamps by Old Hickory!

Hick said...

I love this story. I wish I would have done that with my three kids...although they are 5th generation Californians, they are not 5th generation NORTHERN Californians...and that makes all the difference.

Floridacracker said...

Sanity,
Thanks.Will do.

Pablo,
Same to you, I'm a roundrock regular.

Zanne,
I agree, it would be alot tougher if we had been in Chicago. Old Hickory was one tough guy. Pretty neat that you have a Seminole heritage tho.

Hick,
Cali must be like FL. There is a huge difference in the culture of South FL and North FL. Vive le differance...high school French from 1975 so spelling does not count!

thingfish23 said...

I can attest to the difference between Southern and Northern Florida. I really want to get back up to the Panhandle area. That's some beautiful stuff. The Southwest Florida experience can get tiresome, what with all the developers and snowbirds.

Floridacracker said...

Thing,
It feels like two different states sometimes.