dark and snowy night

The baby: it was a dark and snowy night …

It was a dark and snowy night …

5.30 am.

It’s the end of March but flurries of snow fall softly around the bungalow on the corner; a perfect white blanket spoiled only by the footsteps of the midwife to the front door.

Lights burn in every window. The mother paces the floor. It’s the first child, the first grand-child. Five weeks early, it’s taken everyone by surprise.

Snowflakes fall as the baby enters this world. A tiny 6lb scrap with a mop of red hair; a throwback to her Celtic ancestry.

The world starts to wake. The milkman leaves three bottles at the door and another set of footprints up the path. The neighbour returns home from the night shift at the steel plant. The children in the avenue build a snowman before school.

The father brings flowers (never been known before, never known since). He holds the baby; so tiny against his tanned, muscled, builder’s arms.

In three years there will be another sister but for now, the mother sings softly and Suzanna falls asleep as the snow continues to fall.