By Lella Cariddi. Ivanhoe, VIC
25 April 2023
A splendid autumn morning. The weather forecaster announces that today the temperature will reach 25 degrees.
My friend Jill and I are invited to a long lunch at the home of mutual friends, Julie and Con. Jill offers to pick me up by 10am. So much to catch up after the three years of social interruptions in our hometown, Melbourne, which, before the series of lockdowns, twice was named the most liveable city in the world. We found the roads unusually empty on such beautiful day and we reach our friends’ home much earlier than anticipated.
It was a delight to see Julie and Con again after a long-imposed break. When we were there last, Julie and Con had rejuvenated their house (already comfortable and inviting) to a state-of-the-art one. All Julie’s ideas, claims Con! One other guest, Daniele, soon joined us. And between a smorgasbord of Mediterranean delicacies, proudly prepared by Julie in her elegant kitchen, and a bottle of rosé, compliments of Daniele, the conversation around the garden setting flowed on throughout the afternoon.
Between courses, twice I’d checked my phone for messages from my granddaughter Olivia. Olivia and her partner, Will Sun, were expecting a baby around about that time. Not having heard anything by the time Jill took me to the supermarket, I figured that the baby wasn’t yet ready to come.
I had just finished dinner when the phone pinged with a message from my son Anthony, Olivia’s father. So much rejoicing! Earlier that evening, Theodore Benjamin Sun (Theo) had come into the world. Both mother and baby are healthy and happy.
I am a mother four times over. My children (girl, boy, girl, boy) were born between 1960-1967, and looking at them now, each one moulded by life in all its configurations. Sometimes the sweet memory of holding them in my arms, warm and unwashed, can be distant and slippery.
This new sensation on becoming a great-grandmother is both exhilarating and hard to describe. A great-grandmother? Congratulations! is a common reaction. And I think yes, it’s such a privilege to be alive and see my family grow and thrive.
It’s such a privilege to be alive and see my family grow and thrive.
One of my sisters kept saying, “Amazing — you’re now a great-grandmother!” But as the generations multiply, grand automatically attaches itself to those twice-removed, and, of course, my sister is now a great-great-aunt!
Theo is not just beautiful, but the most placid baby. Not a whimper as he gets passed one from one set of arms to another while Olivia and Will look on, glowing.