When I was young, oh so much younger than I feel now (and it’s about to get worse) there was a Chinese chippy round the corner where we always went after a beer or two. It was a good chippy but no matter what hour of the night we went in they were always ‘waiting for chip’, so that’s what we ended up calling the place. ‘Going to waiting for chip’ we’d tell each other in between trips to Greenham Common and anti-nuclear demos. It was that era and we spent almost as much time waiting for chip as we did sitting round the fence at Greenham.
But now I’m waiting for a different variety of chip; a chip off the old block, you might say – though he or she may turn out to be nothing of the sort. The due date for our grandchild came and went on Sunday and although we were almost certain nothing would happen (the due date being the one day on which a child almost never comes) I couldn’t help checking my phone every five minutes to see if labour had begun.
I’m calmer now. I’ve reached a stage of relative serenity where I know the child will come when she’s ready. But will I be ready? The thing about your first grandchild is that it catapults you into a different stage of life, the third age, a post-menopausal wonderland (or bewilderland) where you are now officially the older generation. Soon a little sproglet will be calling you Gran and climbing on your knee to be told a story. Already all the nursery rhymes are coming back from my youth and demanding to be heard again; already I am thinking of games to play and stories to tell.
I’ll leave you with this thought from the film Calendar Girls:
‘The flowers of Yorkshire are like the women of Yorkshire. Every stage of their growth is more beautiful than the last. But the last phase is always the most glorious’ (I forget the next bit…) I can’t find the clip but here‘s another scene to jog your memory.
I’ll let you know when there’s news…