It’s back to work today after the Christmas period. Jenny is sick. She’s at home probably back in bed now. I wish I was too. I’m tired, neither of us have been very well and it’s meant lots of rough nights. Lack of sleep as been the primary feature of the holiday period. I guess it’s good training for the next three years of our lives though, so I mustn’t grumble too much. Having Jenny suffering with a cold over Christmas highlighted another feature of pregnancy. Every time I went to the chemist to get some cold relief medicine I had to ask if it was suitable for women in the early stages of pregnancy. We didn’t even know if she could take paracetemol until I looked on the NHS Direct website. Thankfully she can but must follow the recommended daily allowances. It’s strange to see her being so conscious of what passes her lips. On Christmas Eve we went out with friends of ours, Terry and Heidi. Thankfully there is one pub in town where smoking is not allowed on the premises. Jenny stuck to Lemonade, not wanting any alcohol. She normally drinks more than I do (okay, maybe the same as I do) so it was strange to have her sober all night long. We were home by ten and ordering a pizza. What strange behaviour! But, I didn’t mind. Heidi tried to coerce me into coming out but it wasn’t working. Jenny wanted to go home and I wanted to go home with her.
Christmas Day was the day of reckoning. We had decided to tell our parents our news on Christmas Day. First, my parents then to her parents house for lunch and to tell them. I mentioned previously that the one problem I thought we would have would be the issue of marriage, so I was thankful I was a coward and was letting Jenny tell her parents whilst I took the easier option of mine. As it was I spent an hour sat on the sofa with Jenny across from my parents and two young brothers trying to pluck up the courage to tell them the news. How do you break something like that to someone? I have never had to do it before and my parents have never had to be told that before. I was dumbstruck. What the hell was I going to say? Do I build up to it? Just blurt it? By cryptic? I was conscious that time was running out. We had to be at Jenny’s parents house by one-thirty for lunch – then I got a stay of execution when Jen got a call to put lunch back to two o’ clock. But still the seconds ticked away and we made small talk about what was on the television or about Christmas presents. We chatted amongst ourselves, my parents unaware of the news about to be dumped on them. In the end, during a lull in the wise cracks, the jokes and the endless cups of tea I opted for the ‘blurt it out’ method:
“So, er, you’re going to be grandparents”
It was done.
My Mum put her hands to her face and began to cry. Tears of joy. The tears were of joy, I promise. Byron* burst out laughing – as only Byron would do – clapping his hands and suggesting I could have been a little more subtle that that. The kids, Eton and Ellis, barely moved from their watching TV positions. I think Eton, the eldest, shot a cheeky grin my way, he may have clapped me on the back too, then they went back to the television and whatever movie was being shown. My Mum hugged Jenny tight through her tears. Jenny looked like she would cry too. Byron stood and offered me his hand in congratulations. I hugged him to me like I have not done in over a decade. This is real family stuff. This was something we could all focus on and it would be good for us.
My Mum has wanted to be a Gran ever since my Gran died which was just over a year ago. It would have been her birthday too, the week before Christmas. I think she sees this pregnancy as the continuation of life. Up until now she was focusing, perhaps, on the past on what was lost. Now she has something to look forward too. She called me later on Christmas Day singing ‘I’m gonna be a Granny’ down the phone. She’s excited. She has probably planned every aspect of what she will do for this baby. It is good to know that I have good people behind me, supporting me. Supporting us.
Having ‘relieved myself’ of the big news it was time to move on to Jenny’s parents house. She was a little nervous about what would be say. The marriage issue again. We have discussed it between ourselves and I’ll go into some detail on that another time, or maybe later, but soon. We got to Jenny’s childhood home, it’s just a few minutes drive from my parents house, and exchanged Seasons Greetings. Mike was watching TV and Sandra was busy in the Kitchen. She came into the lounge upon our arrival and mention was made of King Prawns in the Prawn Salad. Shell fish are not recommended whilst pregnant so to spare her Mum any more unnecessary work Jenny was forced to come clean right away:
“I might as well get this over with. You’re going to be grandparents again.”
It was done, again.
This will be Mike and Sandra’s third grandchild. Jenny’s sister, Lyndsey has two boys already. It was still big news though and Mike was very pleased. He shook my hand and offered congratulations. He later told us that he had a premonition that there would be another baby next year (2007). I never took him for a psychic. Sandra said that yes, she was pleased, but, ‘you know what I’m going to say, don’t you? You know what I’m going to say, don’t you?’ Yes, I know what you’re going to say.
Marriage. It comes back to that. I can understand where she is coming from but as Mike pointed out (THANK YOU!!) it’s a different time, a different age. We said we’d consider it, and we have, it just is not a viable option right now.