Thursday, 16 April 2009

Ted Arthur Roberts

Strange things we human beings.
We are so often self sufficient, blinkered, egotistical beings. With no need of an outside force, we are strong, capable, adaptable; masters of our own destiny. Hurrying and scurrying through life, often thoughtless and uncaring, intellectual masterminds, confident of our innate wisdom and inordinate power. We are supreme beings, or so we would believe.
Alison, my daughter, pregnant with her third child, several days overdue, waits anxiously. Having already experienced an ectopic pregnancy, a premature birth (Angelina) and a worrying time with her last child (Tommy) pregnancy is never easy for Alison, or for that matter, husband Simon and anyone else remotely connected by birth or friendship.
On red alert, the phone rings at three o'clock in the morning. My wife staggers out of bed, I continue my sojourn, as grandfathers do. Paulette journeys a hundred yards down the road to babysit Angelina, seven and Tommy, five. Alison and Simon travel to the Baby Unit of the City Hospital. I return to my interrupted slumbers. What is it they say nowadays, 'I wish'.
Sleep is impossible. My mind is full of doubt and negativity. How many things could go wrong, a massive collection of 'What ifs' swirl round my head. Anxious and fretful I am filled with an apprehension and foreboding bordering on the fearful. What if the baby has serious imperfections. What if it doesn't survive. What if anything happens to Alison. Always the question, 'What if'. The night is black and my mood is blacker. I feel powerless, and very mortal.
I drift in and out of troubled sleep and nightmarish images. I lift my eyes to the heavens in silent prayer. My invincibility is stripped bare, I do what I suspect most people do in the circumstances, look for outside help. And therein lies the truth of the matter. Whatever our outward show of bravado, dismissal of all things spiritual, stripped bare we are inadequate, unsure beings, in our own right simply nothing.
Dawn breaks, I arise bleary eyed and my wife arrives with Angelina and Tommy. On semblance we eye the phone. The morning passes slowly, oh so slowly. The pressure is excruciatingly uncomfortable. At twelve o'clock Angela asks 'Does it really take this long to get a baby out of 'there.'
At one fifteen the phone rings. My wife takes it to the silence of the bedroom. Five minutes later she tearfully returns. We have another grandson, Ted Arthur, weight seven pounds eight ounces. (Alison had steadfastly refused to be told the sex of the child before birth.) The relief is overwhelming, the joy immeasurable.
In this modern age Ted is home by the evening. He is examined and much admired and will be cherished forever. Life will, I presume, eventually once again return to some semblance of normality. But the experience has left a mark. I have not been instantly converted to religion, be it Christian, Muslim, Judaism or whatever. But I tell you this. Angelina's puzzlement had more than a ring of truth. I saw Ted in the hospital at seven hours old and I wondered. I wondered at the fact that this beautiful baby had, only hours earlier, been bent double in a completely different environment just waiting to enter a strange new world. And that strikes this old man as very clever. Very clever indeed. Whatever or whoever is behind it all, I suspect life and all the inherent ramifications are far too intricate to be a pointless, random exercise. I might consider myself clever, but blimey, not that clever!

Creating a blog, easy peasy, (It is exactly one year since my first hesitant blog.) Creating a universe, rather more difficult.


Robert said...

Congratulations on the birth of yout grandson! Birth IS miraculous, isn't it? However, you still don't have me convinced that there is some super creator being behind it all. If there was, then what was clever enough to create the creator?

Lane Mathias said...

Welcome Ted Arthur Roberts. What a wonderful name!

BeckyG said...

Congratulations on becoming a granddad for the third time! And welcome, Ted Arthur, to the world!

Marian Dean said...

Congratulations Ken! and to Mum and Dad too of course. and wonderful oldie names... Bring them all back I say.
The Creator is just I AM. there was no need for someone to create the creator Robert.
The wonders of this world and all the universe will be revealed to us mere mortals when we pass through that doorway called 'death'. We will all believe then.
see my post

Love Granny

Nota Bene said...

Happy blogging Anniversary

Happy birthday Ted Arthur - great name

Annette said...

Congratulations Ken on becoming a grandfather again and for the first year of your blog.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Congratulations from me too on the birth of your new grandson and welcome to Ted Arthur Roberts. What a wonderful anniversary post. A

Reasons said...

Lovely post. Congratulations. Very moving.x

Anonymous said...

So chuffed for you all,


J.J said...

Welcome baby Ted and congratulations to all his family.

SD said...

Congratulations! I stumbled upon your blog and loved it! Will keep coming back.

Kitty said...

I'm very behind with my blog reading this week, but just had to say this post is quite wonderful, Ken. Many congratulations to you and your family on the arrival of Ted - your writing described perfectly what it's like to be on the end of the waiting for news during a labour and birth.

As a non-religious person myself, seeing a newborn baby is something that never fails to make me think of the true meaning of the word 'miracle'.


VioletSky said...

Congratulations and a hearty welcome to Ted!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Thanks to you all for your kind words. Robert, you're an old cynic like me. Grannie, I wish I had your faith.

Lane and Nota Bene,
I'm just getting used to the name!

Becky,Strawberry Jam, VioletSky and JJ, Ted says thanks for the welcome!

Annette, Reasons to be Cheerful and Kitty, thanks for the congratulations.

Not Waving, thanks for the thoughts.

And finally, Shweta, thanks for the visit.