I’m a Journalist and she works in a Medical Practice. She’s the practical one, and I’m the idealist.
I’m 51 and existing in the gentlest state of impatience, in anticipation of what will no doubt be the defining moment in my life. Less than six months to go until our first child arrives. I look at my wife and I am in absolute and constant awe.
Sometimes she shows wisdom beyond her years, and real sure-footedness. She is strong. She has the ability to tough it out when needs be – and, from time to time, the needs they have be…
Yet there is something semi-guileless and in need of protection in there, too. Earnest, even. Occasionally there is a sadness in her eyes, but it is always only a moment. There is most often innocence and wonder and silliness and joy and good will and the best of intentions. And a lightness on her feet.
These are the qualities I hope she passes on to our child.
One Friday five years ago something changed. We met, by chance.
She was a person I could recognise straight away as a kind soul and likely, for anyone lucky enough to have the chance to find out, a great companion. There was an attraction. We talked for hours. All night. The staff of the venue we were in had to clear up round us.
Our courting was very gentle. Old fashioned. Respectable and respectful. It was what this delightful girl deserved, and it was certainly what I needed. Summer walks in the park were long and free, and conversations turned on a penny from the profound to the ridiculous and back again. We laughed, listened and let things go where they seemed to want to go. There was no rushing at speed, there was no pressure. It was indefinably ‘right’ for us to just ‘knock about together’.
But there was also an age gap, and one which some might think of as difficult. For me, that difference of 18 years did raise questions. It did make me consider my judgement. And it did affect my confidence. And I am sure I will write about this again.
Tactfully, carefully, and with a degree of middle-aged fool’s grace, I once tried to bow out of what seemed to be happening, before someone got hurt. She surprised me by saying that, actually, the age gap was irrelevant. Something she just didn’t care about. That somehow we twisted time and met in the middle of it, and were “clearly a really good team”. And that, in the end, that’s what is the only important thing.
And so that was it. The only important thing.
We moved in together three years ago. A modest rented terrace. We moved out of that, two years ago. Our own place. And we got married one year ago. Our marriage is a robust and steady ship (despite a couple of barnacles here and there, and the occasional unanticipated wave).
Christmas last, she said she wanted to stop taking the pill “… and see what happens”. Then, one Monday three months ago, something changed.
And now here we are. Pretty soon, we know, it will be our role as parents which defines us. Not our jobs or, I don’t know, our collections of shoes and records. And not anyone else outside of our unit, either.
So what is this website?
A load of navel-gazing?
I’m not sure.
What I do know is that it can be anything. I feel the need to record, in some way, what is happening and as much as I can of what that feels like for me, and what I’m thinking. And what it feels like for us. And how things go.
I am also a tad older than my wife. One day this writing may be all that remains of these moments. For her and for our child.
I’ll be posting short pieces of writing, long pieces of writing. Out loud thinking. Memory things. In the moment things. Flippant things. Indulgent things. Waffle. Precision. Things I’ve seen elsewhere which made sense (or did not). Interesting things, unusual things, mundane things. Any things.
I’ll guess in advance that not everything written here will be about the pregnancy or, after the birth, about our child. Hopefully on the occasions where that happens to be the case, those pieces will help extend the view and colour in the picture. Or add a little texture.
Increase the ambience, I suppose I mean…
Despite no request or insistence from my wife for this, I have made a promise to our marriage that what is written here will be ‘anonymous’. That I will not mention our names. And, when posting photographs, they will not be an obvious invasion of our family’s privacy.
I feel this protective caveat also provides great liberty.
It means ego can be sort of side-stepped. It means the opportunity for absolute honesty in the writing. It means uncomfortable detail is possible. Without embarrassment for anyone, I can be as truthful about my frustrations, difficulties and failings as I can about any of our joys and success.
In terms of photographs it just means stretching the creative muscles a little further, that is all.
Perhaps in time the site will become more than just a trail of my own think / speak. More than missives from all moods and scenarios. Perhaps this part of the site will become small and a side track.
Perhaps in time others will contribute.
Perhaps it will become a sort of space where other fathers, other parents, mothers, can come and do some written-down out-loud thinking or storytelling. Wondering. Advising.
Perhaps in time it will feature tips, tricks and tactics which might be of some value to other parents and parents-to-be. Perhaps in time there will be product reviews, and there will be great child-friendly recipes dreamed up by my wife. And things like that.
Or perhaps this site will always stay as is now.
Like what is happening for us, to us, with us, the future is coming and right here and right now the possibilities are open.