Chapel Hill: Opinion

Special delivery: Littlest bundle

By Linda Haac

Santa Claus came early this year, even before Thanksgiving, and left the littlest bundle at our doorstep.

This little bundle was not ordered from Amazon, was not delivered within a day or two by drone and was not even exactly a surprise. The little bundle did, however, come with its own set of shipping charges.

On the Sunday before Thanksgiving, my husband and I were having a leisurely dinner of cheese fondue that he had made, along with a nice salad made by me. We had almost finished our feast when the telephone rang from the suburbs of Washington, D.C.

A baby was to be born within the next several hours, and the baby belonged to our older daughter and her husband. This baby was a boy, we knew, because we had seen the pictures, sonogram snapshots taken while in the womb, pictures so clear it was almost like meeting the little guy before he even saw the light of day. We were thrilled!

The little guy was already late to his own party, though, but my husband and I had figured he would wait another two days for the full moon scheduled for the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It was why we settled in for a comfortable Sunday night at home but found out quickly what they say about babies is true: They have their own schedules.

My son-in-law asked us to leave as soon as we could and then meet them at the hospital. For the first time in my life I was able to exit our house for a long car ride in just over three-quarters of an hour. In that space of time, my husband and I were able to clean up after our dinner, run the dishwasher, pack our suitcases, pile up the car with those packed suitcases and add in all the other miscellaneous items we planned to take for the baby and for the Thanksgiving dinner I was to prepare later for 13 people at my daughter’s house.

I still can’t believe we got on the highway that fast. The drive from here to D.C. is hardly your scenic route but I, for one, still noticed no landmarks along the way, not Petersburg, not Richmond, not even the shopping extravaganza of Potomac Mills. This was how intent we were on getting to our destination. We only had to stop once to get me coffee.

We arrived at our daughter’s house a little after one in the morning and set to unloading the car and letting out the dog before heading for the hospital, where we would settle in for the night. We saw our daughter and her husband for a short time and then stretched out on the hospital’s loveseats in the waiting room and tried to get some sleep.

The little guy appeared 10 minutes before sunrise. Earlier, a friend had told me the experience of seeing this bundle of joy for the first time would be like falling in love for the very first time. It was that good, that overwhelming, that unparalleled.

I have to say he was right.

For the next two days before the little bundle of joy came home, we visited him in the hospital. We were still sleep-deprived, but floating on air. When he arrived home, we made sure his fur sibling, better known as the dog, received a wrapped present with a squeaky toy inside. As for the dog, he gave the baby the sniff test, and the little guy, I’m happy to say, received high marks.

After this, it wasn’t long before on the scene were the other set of grandparents, the great-grandparents of the little guy, my son-in-law’s sister and her husband, and our younger daughter and her husband. The baby went from one set of arms to another. After all, it isn’t every day you receive something so precious by special delivery.

Linda Haac lives in Carrboro. You can reach her at