Sleep was elusive all night. I stayed quietly awake in some vigil that I seemed to be required to keep.
When I got the message in the morning that my sister-in-law had gone into labour in the night, it was not a surprise, merely a confirmation. It’s not even surprising that my mind chose to keep the vigil, untold – this is merely the same instinct that makes my brother call me unerringly when I really need to talk, whether I want to or not.
Our family unit of five is now six. That’s not surprising either – it’s always been flexible, taking on any number from two to two hundred at any given point in space or time. What is surprising is that my small brother is suddenly a father. And that this wonder-child is real, here.
The first photographs brought a rush of entirely new emotion. Perhaps this is unconditional love. It was so unfamiliar and so strong that I had no idea what to do with it. My actions seemed strange but were probably just a response called up from my genes – I visited my locker to check on my diamonds.
Two years ago, as the jeweller handed me the case, he told me fulsomely I had bought an heirloom that I would hand down to other generations. My friend and I were too busy gloating over my new possession to care. Well, the heir to it was born this afternoon. The sense of continuity that gave me was most surprising of all.
- ► 2011 (32)
- ► 2010 (32)
- ► 2009 (50)
- ▼ 2008 (83)
- ► 2007 (48)