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Monday, 12 November 2007

Tres Bella

Last week was the Week Of Waiting. Waiting for my brother's first child to enter the world; for my kids' first cousin on my side of the family to emerge. We were all bloody impatient about the arrival, so goodness knows how impatient my bro, Matt, and wife, Becky were feeling. On Monday night a gang of us took our kids out to the firework display in Crystal Palace, where we met up with Matt and Becky and a group of their pals. It was funny observing them as they poured scorn on the poor standard of the display with their mates, while the Mums and Dads amongst us simply vicariously enjoyed the excitement of our kids, who are all still young enough to enjoy fireworks of pretty much any variety, especially if it means staying up really late and standing in a field in the dark with all their schoolfriends and eating popcorn. We whooped and cheered almost every firework, whilst the non-parent gang started to boo in disappointment. It highlighted to me just how their lives were about to change so radically - and so much for the better. But that was Monday night, and they were still living on The Other Side. Looking back, it was ironic, as apparently Becky's contractions had already started, and by the next day they were well on their way to parenthood. Early on Wednesday morning, after a wonderfully straightforward labour (thank goodness, and lucky for her!), Becky gave birth to the most beautiful little baby girl, Abigail Bella. My brother rang me in the middle of the night to tell me, with that typical new father tone in his voice, part euphoric, part adrenalin-fuelled, part phased, part excited, part wonderment. It was lovely to hear. Holding my new niece in my arms later that day I was so delighted for them, so in love with her, so .... well, just so relieved that the birth part was over, that Becky had got through it relatively unscathed, that the baby was OK and that finally, now, they might just begin to understand and to know the earth-shatteringly positive difference that being a parent can bring to your life. Fireworks will never be the same again. They'll just always be wonderful, even if they are just a few squiddly ones in the back garden, because they'll always be seen through the eyes of the children.

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