The descent into Sydney was exciting. We came in over Manley, which is like a little peninsula that stretches out into the harbor; you have to go over it to get to the harbor. I remember being fascinated by the red roofs. I remember being awed by the beauty of Sydney Harbour, a sensation I never lost. I was practically beside myself with excitement over being in Australia and the thought of seeing Mike & Kerry.
I did not think I would be able to restrain myself while going through customs. I wanted to be out of there and into my family's arms. At last I was free and spotted Mike & Kerry. Mike was so happy to see his dear old Mum, he literally swept me off my feet. Kerry looked beautiful - and very pregnant. All three of us were happy as dicky birds.
I arrived Down Under a month before the anticipated birth so that I could get down the routine of the house. They were living in Paddington at the time, a charming neighborhood with "Federal" houses of red brick trimmed with white wood. As I recall, there were beautiful wrought iron railings that made it reminiscent of pictures I have seen of New Orleans. .
Scott was born at what they call a laying-in hospital - dedicated to birthing. Australia is surprisingly more advanced than the USA in its medical practices (they do not have to fuss around with the AMA) and this hospital was no exception. I remember how much I liked it and the staff. It was so exciting to hold my grandson and even more to watch Mike holding his son. It made me miss Pete, in a sad but wonderful way.
When my children were born, the dad was not allowed in the delivery room and babies were brought to Mom according to schedule. For one of my children's births, I had a roommate. She had just finished feeding her baby and her husband was watching her and picked up his little bitty baby. One of the nurses came in, dressed him down and took the baby away. She really let him have it. He was in total disbelief - "What is the matter? I am not dirty." But the nurse would not budge.
Not so with Scott's birth. I remember Kerry asking me if I wanted to hold him, because I was making such a big fuss over him. I protested that the nurses would not let him, but Kerry set me right, pointing out that he was her baby and she said I could hold him. What happiness to hold that cuddly baby.
When Kerry and Mike brought their bouncing baby boy home, I was there to be a delighted chief cook and bottle washer. For a month, Kerry could just take it easy and let me take care of the house.
It felt so good. I had not been needed like that since Pete died and it nourished my soul. I remember one of her friends dropping by and asking her what she was planning for dinner. Kerry tossed off her reply - "I haven't had to think about a meal in a month." So the friend looked at me and said, "When you're through here, will you come over to my house?" And I think she meant it!
What lovely memories to take with me to my slumbers.
Love to all - Mum/Nan