It’s dark and my eyes are dry. I decide to give my senses a moment before I reach for the giant white comforter. Slowly, I uncover my legs and sit up in the full-sized bed. The 6th floor room we are in begins to rumble and shake. We are at the end of a runway and a heavily loaded cargo jet has just overcame gravity and began her climb into the starry night. I look over and see that Pamela is sitting up in the other bed. I faintly make out her silhouette against the partially-opened curtain. She fell asleep cuddling our 3 year old son, Rabian. I search the darkness to question her eyes but it is no use. The absence of light calls for a meeting. My bare feet squish size 14 footprints into the new, burgundy carpet and my balancing system kicks in. We meet in a sleepy stupor near the door of our hotel room. There is a lady screaming in the hall. She is shouting loudly and insistently at some poor bloke on the phone. We listen for a minute to try and understand what is going on. She is sitting down in the hall now sobbing and beyond upset. It became clear to me at that moment that she was talking to either AT&T or the Florida Toll Road Authority. I had wondered in bed why I couldn’t understand her. Now, by the door I realize it’s because she is speaking another language. It’s 2:00 am and I’m sure everyone on our hallway was up and staring through their peepholes too. It was tense. I wish I could have gotten a loud speaker and yelled, “Hey, what are you doing?” into all those rooms simultaneously. Afterwards, I catch all that creative cursing that would follow and use it the next time I smash my finger building something.
We both laughed a bit at the situation and I headed to the bathroom. When I came out Pamela was standing by the door smiling. “Hey, I bought another pregnancy test,” she said. I smiled. I am forever giving her a hard time about the 88 cent tests and our absurd frequency of buying them. It was our 4th month of hoping and she thought now was a good time to give the test another shot. I began to open the package. The test was not quite childproof but certainly a challenge at that hour. We set the timer for 3 minutes and cover it up with a small washcloth to prevent cheating. When the time is up, we uncover the test and stare. My heart starts to sink. I try not to get too excited each time we do these things but truthfully, each time could change our lives. It’s a lot to process when you’ve just woken up to a crazy screaming lady and your eyes won’t open and your mouth tastes like glue and dead pelicans. So we stare for a moment and then look again at the instructions. Wait…, this can’t be…., smiles begin to explode onto our faces. We look at each other waiting for confirmation from the other. Both of us are too scared to be wrong and misinterpret the lines. It is. We are. Neither of us can wrap out mind around this news, we just stand there staring and smiling. And just like that at 2:14 am in the bathroom of a Sheraton hotel in Houston our lives change forever.
We are wide awake now and both climb back into bed. For a long time we lay there thinking aloud and wondering what is to come. I have a million questions. Most revolve around the safety of my wife and the interaction between Rabian and his new sibling. He is going to be a big brother. There is much excitement about how we will announce it to our family. I want to wake up my son and tell him but I fear he wouldn’t be as excited as we are. Not yet. We eventually slow our speech and decide we must sleep. There are 4 of us now and soon the world will know. But tonight, tonight it is our little secret.