Friday, 10 October 2008
Since the phone call in March we had been anticipating the birth of Sally’s baby and as promised Molly Violet Petcher made her first appearance and joined the world at ten to three in the morning on Thursday 9th October, which happens to be the same birthday as John Lennon, Sharon Osborne and David Cameron. Sadly, given the unsociable hour of arrival, no one was there to share the magic moment (except the hospital staff of course) and I received the wonderful news by telephone call fifteen minutes later. It was a bit of a shock being woken from a deep sleep with this sort of brilliant news and I didn’t rest much more that night but did drink an awful lot of tea!
I visited her of course as soon as I could later in the morning and was delighted to welcome this beautiful baby girl into our family. The fact that she was a little girl wasn’t a surprise because we had known this for some time so all of Sally’s meticulous preparation had been in various shades of pink and she was dressed in an immaculate tiny outfit. It had to be tiny because she had been impatient to arrive and was a couple of weeks early. We knew that she was going to be small of course and I was sort of expecting to see a sickly looking baby with matchstick arms and legs looking hopelessly helpless but was surprised to meet a perfectly healthy and perfectly proportioned little baby girl who just happened to be a little bit small, and I have always said that there is nothing wrong with being a little bit small!
All of this transported me back twenty-four years to the birth of Sally and I was pleased that when I was handed Molly for a proper introduction that all of my baby handling skills that I feared might have deserted me came back and I instinctively remembered the ‘gentle touch’. In 1985 I was overwhelmed with the thrill of being a father and on this occasion I was as equally overwhelmed with the thrill of being a grandfather.
As the day went by more and more people dropped by to say congratulations and hello and everyone went through the same bedside routine of trying to establish family resemblances; “She’s got her Mum’s eyes”, “she looks just like her grandma”, “where does she get that dimple from I wonder?” and that sort of thing and at the same time everyone was trying to convince themselves and everybody else that she doesn’t look like her father! I suppose I could see various bits of people but sometimes to be honest she looked mostly like ET! But even within a few hours though there was noticeable change and by mid afternoon it was good to see a definite resemblance to Sally starting to take shape.
What a day this was, the beginning of something exciting, a blank canvas of a life and a new journey to who knows where and at the end of it I spent some time reflecting on the memorable event and looking forward to the future. Molly was born on a beautiful autumn day with a blue sky full of sunshine, which I took to be a good omen for a bright future and as I fell asleep feeling happy and proud I resolved that I will always do my best to make this happen.