These last few days while we’ve been waiting, I think all the time about when we waited for your Mommy.
You might arrive the day after tomorrow. But it could be early next week. The doctors look at the monitor, study your measurements, peering over your Mommy’s belly, discussing this, analyzing that. The technology involved is the best, the expertise second to none. And yet, all of us, your parents, your grandparents, and the doctors alike, remain waiting, watching, wondering. You keep us guessing, you rascally, you.
I’m the maternal grandma on deck. “What shall we call you?” Your Mommy asked me. Your Daddy’s mom is called Nana, by Theo and Izzy, the who will be your cousins. “I don’t mind.” I say. “Grandma, Granny, Grammy.” It doesn’t matter. I once worked for a lady, whose grandkids call her Drama. You can call me Granny Drama. But only if you want to. It doesn’t matter.
These last few days while we’ve been waiting, I think all the time about when we waited for your Mommy. When would she come, would everything be all right? That was in Maine. Now, it’s thirty five years later, and we’re in London. The doctors peer over the monitors, the scanner, the calculations, we ask the same thing. But asking once, as Granny Drama is enough. The tentative worry on your parents’ faces, shows they need me to refrain from asking too much. Because my job is just to be here. To be ready, to be an extra set of hands, an extra pair of arms, an additional lap. To say, “it’s all right, shh, shh.”
The man upstairs where I’m staying, brings us delicious chocolate brownies. His children were born where you’ll be arriving. “Not to worry,” he says, “it’s the best hospital in the world.” We go for long walks, from one leafy suburb to the next, conjuring the novels of Barbara Pym and Muriel Spark, AN Wilson and the like. We can hear a soprano vocalizing in her living room, a tuba player begins practicing across the street from her.
Little one, the world is an extraordinary place! And soon you will be a part of it. On Lordship Lane, there are organic markets, delicious ice cream, fish mongers, second hand stores, swishy restaurants, a cinema, and some pubs. People nod when they notice your Mommy’s tummy, smiling at the thought of what it means, your arrival, the flow of life.
Today was another scan. It turns out you’re just a little thing. Not tiny, but small enough, and the doctors have decided it’s time for you to be born. Are you ready? Because it’s time to arrive. Here! In London, in the world! I think about you all the time, about your Mommy, knowing, how happy she will be- and of course your Daddy, too- to finally meet you! Your Nana and Grand Dad, they’re on their way, they’re anxious to meet you, too. We will take turns holding you, murmuring, “Shh, shh, it’s all right,” Watching you grow, how much you remind us of your parents. And then, one day, who knows, maybe thirty five years from now, as you get ready to welcome your own baby, I will tell you how we waited, anxiously wondering when you’d be born, when you’d arrive. I love you, you rascally, you.
Carrie Hayes is an ex-school teacher, former casting director, retired decorator, failed librarian, hopeless romantic. Author of Naked Truth or Equality, the Forbidden Fruit.
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