On a quiet Saturday evening many years ago, Rick and I wiggled and wrestled legs for some space to share on the couch with our dog Murphy. It was 9:30 and we were ready to settle in for the night. A few months into the lease of our first home together, we were loving the vibe of urban living in an old, often forgotten neighborhood close to downtown Denver. Here’s another way to say it: we were learning that our cute, renovated house was smack in the middle of a neighborhood that Santa would classify as “a little bit of naughty and a little bit of nice.” We were mostly excited about the nice.
As Murphy started snoring and jabbing us with his restless legs, Rick and I danced with that decision one has to make when settling in on the sofa after a long day: doze off here, or just go to bed? Our droopy eyes weren’t helping make that decision any easier as we found ourselves quickly joining Murphy in the snooze-a-thon. Suddenly the doorbell rang. I looked at Rick. Rick looked at me. The doorbell rang again, followed by a series of knocks. Murphy ran under the coffee table and started growling. At least he knew what to do. “There’s a peephole–go take a peek,” I whispered to Rick. As he tiptoed over to the door, I crouched along behind him as if we were kids trying to get past our parent’s bedroom to sneak out for the night.
“It’s…a…pregnant woman…a very pregnant woman! And she looks like she’s crying!” Rick shouted in a whisper. Without a second thought, we opened the door. It wasn’t yet Christmas, or this scene unfolding before my weary eyes might have been more apropos. It would be quite a stretch, however, to cast either one of us in the role of Joseph ready to help Mary give birth to the savior. “Are you o.k.? How can we help you?” Rick said as we stepped out onto the dimly lit porch. “I’m going to pop!” the woman said over and over again between sobs.
To be continued…