Sunday, 25 December 2011

The Baby's First Christmas

Men & babies. Really, it's adorable. All my friends have asserted that "The bit where you come home with your baby and the boy cries" is certainly a highlight of the first days with a new baby.

Love songs to your children slay me these days. At The Godmother's wedding last week, I had to turn to the pew behind me and hiss "Stop it! Stop it right now!" at my friend, singing along to Jack Johnson's Better Together, serenading his 6 week old, gently snoring son. It was either that or I sobbed openly on the floor of the Church.

Later on on the wedding day, Tim Minchin's White Wine In The Sun was played, which cruelly set me up to see my friends dancing in a circle with their parents after 11 years together, and again there may have been some more tears.

My husband doesn't sing. Well, he does, but it's when everyone else is out and he's doing the ironing, or very, very quietly behind closed doors when he's putting the Chap back to sleep. So he sings no love songs, and he writes no poetry, but he does disappear off into his shed and emerge at some point later with, say, a cot for his son. Or, as happened a few days ago, muttered something about 'having the right wood', 'really, it's very easy' and 'there will be a giraffe end and a zebra end', and then spent last night sticking and sanding and then appeared with this. It does indeed have a giraffe and a zebra end.

The Jacob's Ladder in action.
I tried to take a video, but it wouldn't upload.

And it may seem silly, but it is as much a love song to his child  as anything that might involve a treble clef. The meaning is the same, and still it slays me. Having a child is like owning some work of art, something like Van Gogh's Starry Night, something wild and beautiful, but you painted it, and it's there all the time, and it came from you. And it is awesome in the original sense of the word, and wonderful and terrifying and awful all at the same time.

Here, at the darkest time of the year, we think of babies because they bring us hope and terror in equal measures, and because that is what the dark brings, too.

Merry Christmas.

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