I have re-lived this moment over and over. The only way that I can describe it is to compare it to a Saturday night TV show that is just at the crucial point where the contestants find out who is going through to the next round and which loser is packing their bags and going home. There is always that ridiculously long pause before the announcement whilst everyone is muttering under their breath for the presenter to just get on with it.
Well, when my daughter handed me a Christmas card which said to Nanna & Grandad, there was such a pause.
I remember shaking my head, this was definitely not happening. I opened the card to find a scan photo of my Grandchild. I looked at my daughter. I looked at my husband. I looked at the dogs (they were flabbergasted). I looked back at my daughter – almost checking that she was actually standing in front of me, trying to tell me the one thing I did not want to hear. I didn’t speak for what seemed the longest time. All eyes were on me and my mind was racing. I think I sat down at that point and I definitely mentioned Vodka. After everything that I had said, she was PREGNANT.
My head was spinning. I knew that I should congratulate them. I knew I should do something, anything, but I couldn’t move. I couldn’t speak. I could feel my family willing me, urging me into action, but they seemed so far away. I didn’t know how to reach them. Silence filled the room and it was deafening.
Then came the tears . I watched her as they spilled over and trickled down her cheeks. Her husband-to-be looked frantic. No doubt he was worried about what was going to come out of my mouth, (so was I).
What happened next was nothing short of a miracle. I began to hear a voice. It wasn’t mine, but I could definitely hear it and nobody in the room was talking. I concentrated on the words, ‘DON’T RUIN THIS. She needs you right now. She is probably terrified and just wants you to be happy about her baby.’ And just like that, I had been given a kick up the bum and reminded of my responsibilities as a Mum. There were hugs and tears and baby chat for the rest of the afternoon. As is my custom with most situations, I looked to my husband, who replied with his usual wink, letting me know that everything was ok. I blocked out all the worries and the fear and concentrated on the new parents-to-be. She called her Brother, who screamed (he does that a lot) then she left to visit her own Nanna to break the news.
I picked up the Christmas card and placed it on the coffee table. Then I cried.