20 May 2006

A new member of the family! (SQ)

Yesterday I met Meredith, my first grandaughter, indeed my very first grandchild. What an experience!

Meredith, aged 5 daysA grandchild is such a precious gift, new life. Even if I live to a very ripe old age I'm unlikely to be here for more than another forty years, but little Meredith may still be here in a hundred years time. OK, maybe that's not entirely likely - but it is possible and an awesome thought. What will the world be like in a hundred years time? We don't know, cannot know. Oh, there'll be a blue sky. Some days the sun will shine, some days it will rain. Volcanoes will erupt and earthquakes will rattle the land. People will fall in love, fight with each other, struggle with all sorts of problems, bring up children, complain they are short of time, starve to death, get excited when their team wins, die in accidents, win prizes, become famous.

But what will the world be like? Would someone born in 1906 have guessed in their wildest dreams that people would visit the moon, that I'd be typing this into a computer, or that this blog would be visible to almost anyone in the developed world within a fraction of a second of publication?

No, Meredith lives in a world we cannot predict except in the broadest terms. So broad that we must admit our ignorance. It was a heart-warming experience to hold her in my arms, to smell her milky breath, see her yawn and stretch. Meredith knows almost nothing of this world yet, but she is learning already. Sights, sounds, touch, taste, smell, all sending a meaningless jumble of signals to her little brain. Already it will be integrating and processing the input, recognising patterns and noting responses. How amazing, a human being in construction.

Within a mere couple of years she'll be walking and talking and understanding so much. Amazing! Maybe if I'm still blogging I'll post another photo in 2008.

And, wonder of wonders, another grandchild is expected in June so I shall get to see this early stage again and wonder at another new life.

I'll keep you posted!

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