I learned several things on my recent excursion back to the homeland. Before I get deep into the subject at hand, let me point those things out for my own sanity.
1. Sometimes the best things are those we least plan.
2. McDonald's may not be the go-to place in the long West Texas drive, anymore.
3. Though I had stuck to dad's instruction of inspecting the vehicles used for travel all these years, the time I deviated from it, guess what? All of dad's warnings became reality.
4. If you wish a baby delivered in a specified window, call my wife and sister-in-law. They'll get 'ir done.
We had been toying with the idea of not traveling to meet Illianna -- our new niece -- until she made her showing. Because we live a round total of 1200 miles from the place of birth, risking a trip without a birth could pose a burden on a future rendezvous.
That said, Spring Break seemed perfect time to travel. Colder-than-usual weather would make the trip pleasant, in spite of how much Mrs. Commish loathes the land west of Abilene. And, Mrs. Commish and girls would be off of the week. The only one needing scheduling days off would be, yes, Yours Truly.
So, we took a chance. Tuesday last we headed out to El Paso hopeful, but nervous, that lil' Illianna would not make a showing.
Regarding point number three...
I didn't even lift the hood of the car upon take-off. I figured it had just been to the shop and things were OK. Well, the 600 mile trip was uneventful, mechanically. Nevertheless, on a short trip for cook-out supplies in El Paso, the A/C brought the temperature of our car to a rise. The "the-took-care-of-it" mechanics who changed my oil left the radiator cap loose. In the middle of one of the biggest sand storms in my personal memory, the car overheated and had to be stopped. I still have red marks from the sand hitting my back, as I held the hood firmly so the wind/sand blast would not blow it through the windshield. Dad's words swirled in my mind, as I was hoping there wasn't a tornado brewing, which would lift and hurl me on the 7th hole at Ascarate Golf Course nearby.
We landed in the Sun City about 14:00-ish, and family was ready, as they always are. I couldn't turn anywhere without someone handing me a cold lager, which hit the spot. Also, the Guevara-Portillo team made -- yes -- tamales, which were ready for our arrival. Oh boy, did those hit the spot. Wow!
Well, Monica, the mom in question (my lil' sister) was without any pain or so much as discomfort upon our arrival.
We couldn't have that non-sense.
So, Mrs. Commish (my wife), decided the thing to do was to make her walk, albeit a pleasant walk. It was suggested we go to Mesilla, New Mexico, as the town would afford a pleasant scenery, certainly plenty of time to walk, walk, walk.
Like good Mexicans, we loaded 17 people in two cars. We arrived in the quaint town and began the mission.
After walking and literally dragging her around for a couple of miles (Read: Aunt Tu literally pulled her by the arm), we decided it was enough. The drive back proved we might have been successful, as she felt "water" had come out. So, she got home, showered, put on fresh clothes and the water came coming.
22:00 hours on Wednesday, St. Patrick's Day 2010 -- Admission to hospital
14:05 hours on March 18, 2010, Ilianna is born, safely but not without a fight
All systems were OK with mom and baby. In the end, it was perfect. None of this was planned this way, ergo point number 1. We took a chance traveling, but Team Lizbeth-Idaly made sure that baby came.
And, in the end, it was about being with family. It felt very good.
Regarding point number two, McDonald's was a huge let-down on both stops. On the way there the wait was so bad, we got our order free. On the way back, they couldn't get our order right, and we literally wasted more than an hour.
The only redeeming factor about the McDonald stop is I got a figure of one of my favorite warriors, my man Yoda. As you all know, I'm sure, Yoda is the ultimate in Jedi-ness, even if he can't quite get proper English grammar right.
So, this adds another girl to the Najera grandchildren, making it 4:1 in our family. Four girls to my one nephew. In this picture, Ilianna was still in the womb, but not for long.
We couldn't be prouder.
Of course, what could be better than to the end the first day of Ilianna at home than a good game of cards with family. Can you guess who the sharks are at this table? I bet you can't. Looks can be deceiving.