Sunday, August 23, 2009

The arrival of Olivia

Tuesday, 11th August, 2009.

Congratulations are in order!

The clamour of the phone ejected me from bed at six-thirty this morning. Yes, you've guessed! On the other end of the line was an inordinately proud, fledgling father.
Struggling with his happiness and excitement, Ben was eager to tell me that I'd just become a proud great-godmother (or should it be god-grandmother or even grand-godmother?)!

"She's . . . she's absolutely gorgeous . . .!" he declared fervently.
"Of course she is . . !" I agreed.
I didn't add that he'd clearly acquired an independent-minded daughter who had spurned the birthday chosen by the doctors and settled for a day of her own!

Little did Caroline and I think, when we sat enjoying a pub lunch in the sunshine on Sunday, that less than forty-eight hours later - ten days earlier than originally expected - the baby would decide to put in an appearance. There would certainly have been cause for excitement had she arrived in the pub garden!

So . .. I'll be off to the hospital tomorrow . . . and you can be sure you'll hear all about it . . .

Wednesday, 12th August

Oh dear . . . this is where words fail me!

Yes, I know . . . I know that we've all of us arrived by the same route. I know that it's an age-old miracle. I know that for every second of every minute, ever since time began, billions of us have been making the same exhausting journey.
But isn't it incredible . . . ? Isn't it breathtakingly wonderful . . . ? Isn't it totally, absolutely amazing . . .?

We sat and gazed.
That was all we wanted to do . . . simply to sit and gaze.

Olivia is such a beautiful baby. All right, I may be prejudiced, but the fact remains . . . look at the photo.

She is also a very fortunate baby. A much-wanted arrival, blessed with a loving family, and bound for a childhood, near to her grand-parents, in the gentle beauty of the west country . . . her guardian angel did her proud!

Time passed unnoticed as the three of us sat there, quietly marvelling at this day-old human being.

We marvelled at such tiny nails . . . such delicate wrists . . . such exquisite feet . . . such perfection in miniature.

"It's very strange," Caroline murmured in a bemused tone, "I don't feel as though I've just met her. I feel as though I've known her for years."

We all gazed back at the cot.

The concept was inexplicable . . . but it was wholly convincing. Had you been there, I know you would have felt the same.

This wasn't a first encounter, this was a reunion.

Somehow, at such moments, you don't say what you want to say. Instead, you mouth platitudes, make jokes . . . or just remain silent.

What was it that I wanted to say? Something like . . .

"Olivia . . . welcome! You've arrived, like a mystery surprise-package, to enhance our wonderful world. For it is a wonderful world. Despite its man-made troubles, it remains an overwhelmingly beautiful and miraculous place. You have, I promise you, an incredible adventure ahead.
What's more, the world is full of excited people - both in England and Australia - who can't wait to meet you and to love you.

Enjoy this peaceful moment in your cot, you're on the threshold of a feast of new experiences, a lilfetime of living.

As for the rest of us . . . ?
Well . . . open your eyes and look at our faces. They speak far more eloquently than I can. They'll tell you just how happy . . . how awestruck . . . how over the moon with pride we all of us are to have you!"

Something like that . . .