Unto Us a Grandson is Born

Our grandson, Pax Carlo Keaton Giardino, was born yesterday morning at 6:15 am.

8lbs, 7oz

Pax eight hours

Already the fan reviews are promising. One lucky Londoner who was able to visit him yesterday in the hospital wrote:

“…magnificent….positively breathtaking…the radiant Pax!”


Pax (Latin) – Peace
Carlo (Italian) – Free Man
Keaton (English) – Kite town
Giardino (Italian) – Gardener

Clearly Pax will be a quiet man of refined leisure.


Luca and Steve GSo, here’s the story. Sarah, my daughter whom many of you know from her work on my albums and the 2004 Sons and Daughters tour, married Steve (fondly referred to as “him” 🙁  ) who immediately took Sarah away from us and moved to London Ontario. But for this minor misdemeanor (notice the “mean” in misdemeanor) Nance and I would probably like “him” and refer to “him” by name.

Luca and Bruno
Luca and Brando

Happily, within a few years, Sarah gave birth to our first grandson, Luca, who is no small consolation for the agony of distance. Luca is a riot! Loves to dance, bang on pots, play with the ever-patient Brando and make us laugh.  Although Luca has met his Pop-pop  several times, he mostly knows me through the wonders of Skype. When he sees me next week, he will likely be amazed that I am not quite as flat an individual that thinks I am. I have depth and dimension! And I cannot be dismissed by a simple escape button. NO!… I AM POP-POP!!!….. I AM ALIVE!!! (sorry)


SarahBack to the story. We were so pleased nine months ago when I opened an email from my daughter Sarah to see nothing but a picture of a positive pregnancy test.  It took a minute to register that so soon on the heels of Luca, there would be another. I think the Grandparents on both sides were slightly more ecstatic than Sarah and Steve who hadn’t deliberately conceived of another child quite so soon. (Do you see what I did there?)

But Sarah quickly grew to accept the idea.  (Do you see what I’ve done here?)

Sarah and her lads.
Sarah and her lads.

So we’ve been waiting, adventing;  knowing that if all went well, this Christmas we would all be gathering around another miracle.   Luca, of course, has no idea.  He just thinks his mother has let herself go… but doesn’t mind having an extra chair around the house.

He’s also been happy to have his grandma (Gangie) around already for several weeks to attend to his royal needs.

The due date  was yesterday, December 15th.  And precisely, on this date, at 4:30 am Sarah woke up to labour pains.  She quietly got out of bed and had a shower thinking she had lots of time, but by the time the shower was over, her contractions were 2 minutes apart.  She quickly woke up he-who-will-not-be-named and they managed to be heading to the hospital by 5:40 am. At 6:15, the “magnificent, positively breathtaking, radiant Pax” was born.

Nance (Gangie) and Pax
Nance (Gangie) and Pax

Of course I spent the morning weeping like the wiener I am.  I was so relieved Sarah was safe – and overwhelmed that I have been privileged to contribute to the “ages of ages.” I’m so happy for Nance that she can be there to experience her daughter’s joy and her beautiful grandsons. And, of course, I couldn’t be more pleased for “he-who-I’ve-come-to-love-and-admire.”

Luca and his Dad celebratin'
Luca and his Dad celebratin'

Sunday, my two sons (Jesse and Micah) and I will get in the car and drive to London to meet Pax for Christmas. I’m really looking forward to the road-trip with the lads.  On the way back home we’ll be taking in a concert of our favourite mutual band, The Bad Plus, in some funky jazz bar in Minneapolis.

Sarah, Steve, Luca and Pax – we love you more than even poems can say.

Whole be thou!

Pax out!

Babies are such a nice way to start people. ~ Herrold

51 thoughts on “Unto Us a Grandson is Born

  1. Congratulations to all!!! Grandchildren are precious. I love his name and what it means.
    I too joined the ranks of being a grandparent, and enjoy it more than I expected. I have a grandson born to my son, Daniel and his wife, Stacey 3 months ago. His name is Alexander and it means courageous protector.
    God Bless you and yours, Sharon

  2. Congratulations and God Bless You all!

    Have a Wonderful Christmas with your new precious and adorable gift!

    Greetings from Albuquerque, NM

    : )

  3. Congratualtions to you and Nance on the 2nd grandbaby. Give our best to Sarah and family when you get to see them.
    Babies are such miracles aren’t they?
    I think Sarah best plan for a home birth next time…
    Much love to you all and may your Christmas be full of love ad wonder
    (PS…when are you coming back to Thunder Bay?)

  4. Babies are proof that God doesn’t make junk.

    What a gorgeous baby. With amazing creations like that, I’m sure they’ll be happy to make a few more for you.

    Jim, Christie, Stirling, Gabriel, Graham, Darwin

    and of course the Gonz..

  5. Greetings from here in Indiana ! I myself have also been blessed with grandchildren and amazed at the reedemptive action that happens with being a grandparent! Before grandchildren I was a lost and lonely sinner..sigh! Now I find that I have been perfected(at least in the eyes of my grandchildren). Amazing how reedemption occurs anew in each generation! I also admit at some repentance that I;ve had to go through, I used to laugh, even if only inside, at those crazy old people who would take out pictures, or even move across the country, all because of grandchildren. I haven’t moved yet, but I am considering it strongly ! As to those “him’s” in my daughters life…well, as long as they keep on raising up a new generation…you know?
    Thanks Steve for the ruminations !
    Dennis Howe

  6. Steve–Nancy,
    Congrats on the highly successful arrival of your second grandson.Steve you cut me up its good hear your joy.GOD BLESS you guy’s and just in passing does Sarah do any singing these days –if not she should what a beautiful voice she has–we really enjoyed it when you and Sarah did some duets in concert.Merry Christmas to you all.

  7. Congratulations on the birth of your second grandchild. Grandchildren are wonderful, we have 3 – twin 5 year olds, boy and girl, (now that was a fun time) and an 8 year old granddaughter. we great fans and I think that we have bought every CD that you made at least twice. We are part of Street Level and run the Ottawa Mission. Blessing and double blessings. Diane & Laird

  8. Hi Steve (POP POP) congratulations on the newest addition to your family. This is the pimplel sending you a brief message. from my place to yours. Yes, your grandsons are beautiful and the one who is the daddy, helped produce those beautiful grandsons, so you should be proud of him. OK I am overjoyed for you and just before Christmas as well. My nephew and his wife gave me a great neice on Nov 24 and I became GAG (Great Aunty Gina) to the newest member of their family. I tis easier for the baby to say than GREAT AUNTY GINA (GAG is shorter also) Have a wonderful , safe drive to see your newest grandchild, plus the big brother of that newest grandchild.
    from me to you
    Gina , aka GAG, or the PIMPLE

  9. Congratulations to all including Gangie and Pop-Pop 🙂

    What a beautiful baby!

    “Chacun a le plus beau bébé du monde!”

  10. Steve: Congratulations! I also have a “he-who-will-not-be-named” who took my daughter to Ontario were she had a grand daughter and is now pregnant with a grandson.. I know how you feel.
    You neieghbour at 323 Devon.
    Wally Baergen

  11. Hi Steve and Nancy and all of you in the family.
    I am so happy for Pax arriving safely. I love to be a grandma too. I love seeing the pictures and
    the very funny way you wrote about this great even, Steve. I enjoyed laughing with you.

    Irene Pauls

  12. Congradulations. But this is quite a name to live up to. Emmanual might have ben easier to say.

  13. Congratulations Steve and Nanci–like you really had anything to do with it! I’m a long (loooong) way from being a grandparent myself, but my kids are both November babies, and there is nothing like a baby born close to Christmas to give you a whole new perspective on the old, old story. I suddenly found myself wondering what Mary’s labour had been like, and the idea of giving birth in a stable suddenly lost all its romance! But the miracle and the sacrifice became much more real, and much more precious….

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!


  14. He’s a beauty, an awesome gift! I have two nieces born on Christmas day and one of them is expecting her second child any day. It’ll be a few years I’m sure, before I’ll be a grandparent, so I get the privelege of being their happy Aunt Marie. Enjoy Christmas with your family, and no speeding on the way to London!
    Glory to God in the Highest!

  15. Congratulations & blessings of The Spirit to each of you..could so relate to the ‘reality fun’ story…

  16. Great news! What a wonderful gift. Congrats to Sarah, and to the old folks! Boys are awesome, and it sounds like these two will be quite the duo. Blessings on your Christmas together. Much love to all of you.

  17. Congrats on some more grey hair,oh thou grey one….all the best in the new year as your little grandsons grow very quickly in that first year or so.Take care

  18. Congratulations on the safe arrival of your precious new grandson; so new and fresh from heaven. I love the name they chose. Have a Blessed Christmas celebrating together with your family.

  19. Yeah!!! Steve! That’s a great descrition and so poetic and witty!! And id you know that “PAX” is our motto as Benedictines??? Is there a destiny there??
    Have a wonderful Christmas wiht all your loved ones!
    Blessings, Mary

  20. What a beautiful child, Pax, born during this Most Holy Time.

    Steve and Nancy, Congrats on being such YOUNG Grandparents twice over!!

    Sarah and Steve, enjoy the blessings God has entrusted into your hands in both Luca and Pax. I love the name Pax, way cool!

    For all, Shalom, Peace during this Sacred Christmas time!


  21. Congratulations to Sarah and Steve as well as the proud grandparents. What a beautiful gift from God this Christmas season.

  22. Wow, Congratulations Sarah, Steve, Luca, Steve and Nancy on the birth of beautiful baby Pax! I absolutely LOVE the name and I love the internet that you can follow and share in life’s joys with people who are dear! Steve, I have told you this before but you really impacted my life at a young age…Going to “Living Presence” and meeting you and your family (and attending the YFC firehall where you used to lead worship) helped contribute to who I am today. Thank you for just being you! Wow, and Sarah, I remember her when she was just a little toddler (I guess I am giving away my age here, lol)….Well Congrats again, May God continue to bless the Bell & Giardino families!!!


    Julie Plaza
    Kingston, On

  23. Congratulations! How exciting to have a new baby in the family at Christmas. What a hallelujah! I appreciate your writing very much – the joy spills over in your words. Merry Christmas 🙂

  24. We never tire of hearing about your family, Steve, so please keep it coming! You’re a very blessed man on all accounts and it is such a joy to read about your thoughts and feelings regarding your family/music/life.

    You have a way of provoking the best of thoughts & feelings in folks… so I can’t wait for the arrival of the next new birth – your book!!! 8)

  25. Lou and Deb from Prince Albert (PA) send CONGRATULATIONS to grandpa Steve on the new arrival.

    By the way, the ONLY way in the world I would have ever been able to attend the symphony with Lou would be if you were part of it. Thanks for making that (highly improbable event) possible. We, of course, LOVED the concert.in Saskatoon on December 11…..and continue to be two of your biggest fans. (ps. we’re grandparents now too….and completely get “it””

  26. Steve,
    Congratulations on the birth of your second (perfect!!) grandson! I grinned the whole time I read your blog, (and am still grinning), for your excitment is palpable. I would say that you’re experiencing that delightful giddiness that comes with the arrival of a precious baby. I experienced, (and am still experiencing), that very same feeling, as our first daughter arrived 3 1/2 months ago. Blessings on you and your family as you enjoy Pax and Luca this Christmas.

    By the way, I greatly enjoyed the puns and word plays in your blog. Very clever! 🙂


  27. How precious – a new life, a fresh baby boy!~ Welcome Pax…you’ve given us one more amazing moment to gaze and celebrate the joy of a new life and the thrill of what will come. Warm congrats to all of the Bell Family. Happy Christmas to all.

  28. That Luca and Bruno photo is an absolute classic – should be in a contest or something for: “Curious Baby meets Longsuffering Canine Pal.”

    Your (somewhat twisted) stage humour comes across well in this article.

    FWIW – I’m looking forward to a book and here’s what I’d like to read – 1. your insights about Life, Christian faith et. al. based on your experience of almost every flavor of church that exists today. 2. backgrounders to some of your songs – where they came from and what they meant to you as you wrote them – and has that meaning developed over the years in any way? 3. your “road” stories … both the grind and the moments of fun and temporary insanity (lots of room for you humour skills here I’m thinking)…

    Anyway – just one fan’s thinking.

    Christmas blessings!

  29. I love your blogs.
    I, like Grant, smiled loudly (get the malapropism here?:) at the picture of Luca and Bruno. Luca has amazing, expressive eyes!!
    I have already figured out that the lovely Sarah has much of her father’s wit. Who ever thought of using a pregnant belly as a child carrier,
    I am happy for the safe arrival of Pax. What a beautiful collection of meaningful names. God bless you all and have a wonderful, joyously hilarious Christmas season. And thanks for the lovely Christmas music I’ve been enjoying all day at work at the “Point”.
    Blessings, love, peace and joy

  30. Just a quote for you, Steve, that you might appreciate. . . . “Watching your daughter being collected by her date feels like handing over a million dollar Stradivarius to a gorilla.”– Jim Bishop
    My dad used this quote at my wedding, and still calls my husband “Gorilla” occasionally, after 12 years!

  31. Pax is absolutely beautiful!!!! Congrats to you and Nancie, and of course mom, Luca and “him” also. Trust you will have a blessed time of creating memories, laughing and sharing. Be well. Shalom.

    from Steve: xoxo 🙂

  32. Congrats to you and Nance, Sarah, Luca and “him”. Pax is beautiful!!!!! May he fill your life with joy. Have a blessed holiday and have fun with Luca. Shalom from Lloyd and I.

    from Steve: xoxo 🙂

  33. Steve, for years i have listened to your music and I have worshipped. Now, your words about your grandchildren bring tears of joy…. congratulations. thank you for bringing joy to my life without even knowing you were doing so 🙂 bless you and your family this Christmas.

    my fav lyric… ‘what of sadness can endure when love divine makes insecure, the crowing claims of shames allure..’

    I have learned from this.. thank you.

    from Steve – honestly? I think that’s the most important line I’ve written.

  34. Congratulations Steve

    Have fun on your car trip and hope you have a relaxing time enjoying your grandsons. Enjoyed reading the story.


  35. Steve,
    What great news! Stories like this complete this festive season… universal yet always unique and exquisitely rare. Congratulations to your whole family. Welcome Pax!

  36. I know exactly how you are feeling, last year on Sept.23rd my eldest daughter Jenni made me a grandmother. Devon was born a month early and took her reign at the Hurley household. She is coming in from T.O with her parents for Christmas this week, I am sooo excited!!!…. and this evening, my son and his wife had me over for supper to view the ultra sound video of their first child, a boy, still in his warm comfy fluid home. He is due in February. Isn’t it great to be a grandparent?
    I am very happy for you Steve & Nance.

    Karen in Wpg

  37. Hi Steve (whom I know) and the rest whom I don’t) – Congratulations all around. So your parents have been great grandies for awhile. I did not know. Give them my greetings.

    Joan Braunberger (Drumheller history)

  38. Dear Steve and Nanci,
    WE are thrilled for you two. What a beatiful family. Sarah looks great – we still remember when she spent a week with us here, that one summer when she was 16!!
    Sarah and Steve G, look fabulous as parents.
    The boys are beautiful – life is good!
    God bless you all.
    Lou Bruno

  39. Great and very funny blog about the birth of Pax. Love the quote from Herrold. We couldn’t be happier for Sarah, Steve (he shall be named!), Luca and Brando. We’ve had the same delight of a baby conceived in heaven rather than in our own plans! But we haven’t given up on the hope Sarah will conceive and give birth to her own album someday. Notice what I did there….. Much love to all the Bells and Giardinos. I can’t remember that last name, so they are the Geronimos to me. Gotta go – have a new band to check out! Blessed Christmas everyone!

  40. Loved the comment ‘wept like a wiener’, that’s when I lost it, or found it, the joy with your telling as I have beloved Kyan and now his 3 month old brother (the prophet) Westin. I know grandchild love too. I adored them both in a visit today having been gone 2 weeks in Van getting knee surgery, the motivation being (of course) to be able to match their activity levels!! To PLAY with them, my second biggest blessings ( beside the 2 daughters I was graced with)
    THANK YOU SO MUCH for Christmas radio and the e-card, Generous man.
    I look forward to Alliance Church tomorrow with Jonny B and then Jan 1 he debuts his new CD with a Hear the Music night at the Alliance.
    By the way, I chose not to wait 2 years for the knee fix thru the public system. I aproached the best knee doc in BC, paid $400 to chat, then $850 for the MRI, then a mere $2950 for the surgery in a private Clinic. Feeling very good, no heavy drug needed, no cane, no crutch, love those ice packs!
    Happy happy holiday to you and your wonderful family. Hope to see a concert of yours in May in Wpg when I come for the Vincent Massey High School Reunion.
    Leila Ward, Vernon, BC

  41. To The Whole Family -Congratulations.
    I do not have much in the way of family-but I am happy to say I take great joy in how you experss your love and devotion to your family Steve. My daughter, Gabrielle Xin Quan Witham was born a little over 20 years ago and her name means (French feminine for the Hebrew Gabriel) thus meaning woman of God, Xin Quan (Chinese/pronounced tsin chewen) meaning spring of parents joy. It really doesn’t get any better than that. She is my gift and has been for over 20 years now. Thank you God for sending us Your Son and Thank you God for sending me my daughter (who is really YOUR daughter on loan to me, of course). Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Blessings and Joy.

  42. Your little Luca looks like you Steve! What a wonderful Xmas Present. Bless you and all of your dear ones.

    2010 will be a good yoar for you. I received the news of Incarnational Ministries. You have been such a refreshment to my Catholic Soul. You have made a difference in my life
    Funny how we are going along merrily in our present life, when all of a sudden we get the itch, the labour pains of rebirth. I am in transition to another stage in my life. I would like some certainty, some degree of predictablilty, and at home- ness
    Bless you greatly in your new ventures

    Thank you very much

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