I’ve been journeying the past week on trains, planes and automobiles taking a highly anticipated trip to meet my first grandchild.
Leaving Albury Tuesday afternoon last week I caught the XPT and then the Skybus to Tullamarine where I found there’s only so much you can do to while away the time waiting for a red-eye flight to Darwin.
The normal hubbub of the airport quiets, but people still queue at the only fast food outlet still operating or have yet another cup of coffee waiting for the check in counter to reopen to divest themselves of their luggage.
Despite there being just over two hours until the flight is scheduled to leave, the minute staff appear in the check-in area people move quickly and a man who takes his place at the front of the line has a look of impatience, or perhaps it is fatigue which I’m beginning to feel myself.
With my luggage checked in I decide to pass the last hour at the gate; even the security guards seem pleased at the distraction of having to put my handbag, laptop and boots through the x-ray.
The flight to Darwin is uneventful and I try to sleep, but this is the second last leg and the excitement of meeting the new little person in our family is beginning to build.
I pick up the rental car; a RAV instead of the medium car I’ve requested, and almost tell the person at the counter that really this is far more than I need as I won’t be sightseeing this trip.
I’ve been told how amazing the landscape is, but am focussed on my destination and meeting the baby who is just over a day old.
It’s just over 300 kilometres to Katherine and the maternity ward of the hospital where I will meet my grandson, but of course I’ve known him for longer than this because since the phone call with the news that my son’s partner was pregnant this little person has been part of our family.
He’s a modern babe whose ultrasounds have appeared on Facebook and there is a photo of his dad and mum recording the ripeness of this time.
Early the morning before his arrival an SMS told me that labour had started which put me on tenterhooks during the day as I tried not to make too many phone calls and told myself nature would take its course.
At 3am the call came to say he had arrived and mum, dad and babe were doing well.
Back on the road I have to break my drive and even stop for a power nap; the travel time taking its toll but finally I find my way to the hospital and meet Archer Dillinger Young.
He is quietly feeding when I arrive so I have to wait to have my first cuddle.
I’ve had a lot of contact with new mothers and babies over the years, but the sight of the son of my son with his mother makes me cry.
Finally I am able to hold this precious boy and am overwhelmed at the perfection of him.
He opens his eyes: they have the same deep brown as his mother’s and his skin is beautifully olive.
When he is taken home two days later I have the time to sit and be swept up again in the wonder of him.
On Sunday it’s time to leave and return to a life more every day, but a life now enriched by the newest member of our family.
I will also dote, for isn’t that what nannas do?