I’m proud to announce a spanking brand-new Indian has joined the reservation at Port Neches, Class of 2030.

My little grandson, Noah David Wood, was born August 21, 11:37 a.m. to Susan, Gayle and my elder daughter. Mom and son are doing fine. Dad is a wreck. Siblings are both puzzled and curious and feeling a little left out.

The little guy has ten toes, ten fingers, and he is healthy. What more can you ask?

We held him within two or three hours of his birth, and what surprised me most was that he was pink—a healthy pink. He wasn’t yellow with jaundice, red and wrinkled from being so scrunched up in his tiny abode of nine months, but pink and smooth.

Now, all babies are precious, a gift to us from God to nurture and rear to be a decent human being. But the truth is, and if you’ll admit it, most infants fresh into this big wide world don’t look exactly like Gerber babies.

Once when Bill Cosby was talking about the birth of his children, he claimed when he saw the first one, he thought his wife had given birth to a lizard.

Think back. Remember?

But Noah was different.

I held him for about twenty or thirty minutes all swaddled in his blankets and cap. He slept the whole time while I marveled at his color. Most infants take a couple days to pink out.

His brother, Mikey, is six, heading off for kindergarten this year at Taft Elementary in Groves. Mikey takes after his Dad, Big Mike, euphemistically called such because of his height, one so lofty he has to duck to come in the door.

Mikey comes to about my chest and probably scares the dickens out of ninety pounds. The Peewee football coaches love him.

His older sister, Hannah, is in the sixth grade at Groves Middle School.

I have a feeling Noah might take up acting or some sort of drama because for the last few weeks, he kept us all in suspense. Just like the consummate actor, he has a sense of perfect timing. Hold off until the last second to milk all the tension possible from the audience.

You see, Susan had a feeling the little fella might come early, so each day for the last few weeks, we halfway expected him to put in an appearance.

Day after day, he was a no-show. Day after day, we waited, holding our breaths, keeping our fingers crossed. And day after day, he just remained warm and snug.

Gayle and I laughed about it. Who could blame him? What kind of sense does it make to leave a warm abode with all its security for the world outside where nobody knows what might happen in the next moment?

His due date was August 15.

August 15 came and went. By now, Susan was—how do I put it. Susan was somewhat peeved at her recalcitrant infant who was already in position.

She contacted her doctor for an exam. All he could do was shrug and report the obvious. Noah was playing hard to get. Give him another day. If he hadn’t stuck his head out by then, they’d take steps to help the stubborn little squirt make up his mind.

So Tuesday the 21st,at 6:30 a.m., they gave the feller a nudge.

I couldn’t help imagining little Noah there, upside down, his tiny arms stuck out in a last ditch effort to hold back the inevitable. I even imagined him shouting “No, no. I don’t want to go out there.”

But he did, and he is, and we’re all tickled pink that he’s out here with his family, both families.

Mike’s mother and grandmother live in Beaumont. Wonderful folks. Judy, Mike’s mom, took care of Mikey while Susan and Mike were at the hospital. Noah and his big brother, Mikey, and their sister, Hannah, are lucky. On their Daddy’s side, they have a great-grandmother, Marie, a remarkable woman herself who served in the U.S. Navy Waves in World War II.

And they have us on the other side.

Noah got a break, a special break. Unlike so many million other babies, he was born in the U.S.A., where, despite all our problems, we still live in the greatest country in the world. Unfortunately, you’ll be one of those helping straighten this out in the years to come. But that all comes later. You just sleep and eat and grow. You’re in good hands.”

Sleep tight.”