Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Epiphany in July.

It was one July 22nd and I was sitting in a waiting area of a local hospital, the one which served the labour room. I was nineteen years and eight months old. At about 3 o’clock in the morning a nurse appeared and said ‘Mr Beazley? Would you like to come and meet your daughter?’

Would you like to come and meet your daughter? It bears repeating.

Some moments are epiphanic, you know? They change who you are and how you see yourself. I don’t think I showed much response on the surface, but I felt the thrill inside. It was a gentle, wholesome, warm sort of thrill. It didn’t have the intensity of a first parachute jump, but it went deep. And as I drove home in the early light of a cool but sunny July morning, it felt as if the car was floating.

I was thinking today that women must miss out on that special moment. They must get an inkling of it when they first learn they’re pregnant, but from then on I assume it’s the gradual unfolding of a changing perception. How can you not be cognisant of your new maternal status when your progeny is alive and moving inside you for nine months? It isn’t quite the same as being merely aware that your partner is getting ever fatter, and then in one blinding moment having a complete stranger say ‘would you like to come and meet your daughter?’

‘Did she say “meet your daughter?” Daughter? I have a daughter? Me?’

Life changed again five years and nine months later, one dark April night when a rashly made promise came a-calling and demanded to be kept. But that’s another story; the point of the post is made.

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