On the Road. For Jordan on his 31st Birthday
Jordan Chiero is on the road today, January 23, his 31st Birthday. He is scouting young baseball players for his employer. On a baseball field somewhere evaluating the dreams of young men, he is living his dream. His wife, Haley, is by his side and likely his brother, Christian, along for the ride.
I was on the road during my pregnancy with Jordan. A lot. As a reporter for The 700 Club television show I traveled one week out of three: Monday to Friday to large cities and obscure towns talking to fascinating people and telling their stories. I anticipated my maternity leave to be the standard six weeks. Shorter if up to me. Need to get back out there. Certainly my stories were the foundation of a television show likely to crumble in my absence. Or so I thought.
It was nothing more than what millions of women had done before me, have a baby. Unchanged. Unmoved. I am an independent woman.
And then, January 23, 1990. No one told me. No one could have told me as the words have not been invented. No one told me the love that hits you like a truck. No one told me that contrary to science if your baby is out of your sight you cannot breathe.
I made my first direct violation of corporate policy. (Second, I had a glass of wine once. Inside joke.) I took Jordan with me. In every city I went I arranged child care. Jordan was watched over by the kindest, most compassionate (and to me) strangers in cities all over the nation. Dallas, Atlanta, Portland, Bangor, Philadelphia and small towns in between. My cameramen colleagues kept my secret (Thank you, Pat Braddock and Randy Thornton). They carried carseats and strollers like camera bags and tripods and acted like it was normal. I am forever indebted.
Today Jordan is on the road in the care of his new #1. Other than that not much has changed in my heart. Love still hits me like a truck. I can breathe. But I breathe better when I can see him.
Happy Birthday, my son. You know. Will always know.