It's Son's 27th birthday (Happy Birthday, Son) but he's not here. He's having a few days off in the Lake District. According to the weather forecast, it might not be raining. This is him a few weeks ago, giving his nephew a professional (washed) pinkie to cheer him up.
Here, never before published (world exclusive) is an extract from my diary, written slightly post-event:
7 September 1984
... Anyway, around 6.15 am - ish, I suppose, I began the second stage of labour and felt the possibility of pushing and [Son] was born at 6.42 am. The cord was wrapped round his neck. The midwife tried to untangle it but couldn't, so cut it, and so he started crying when only his head was born - which was weird but quite encouraging.
He was born a bit chilled so was taken away to spend the morning in an incubator, but not before he'd had various cuddles and a little feed.... He's beautiful - quite perfect, no missing limbs or birthmarks or anything. He's very like [Daughter 2] at that age - a slightly longer head and bigger nose, but otherwise her spitting image... .
Well, I suppose he still has a longer head and bigger nose than Daughter 2 (who has quite a small head, with nose to match) but he doesn't look like her any more, I don't think, apart from the thick, dark, wavy hair. And he doesn't have a big nose - in fact it's rather an elegant one, I think.
It doesn't seem 27 years. And I would wish that I was back there again if I didn't have the diary to remind me that it was quite hard work:
15 October 1984
[Son] has now (famous last words) started sleeping through the night. He went on waking twice a night for four weeks, which was somewhat tedious, but then took to waking just once, and in the last week this has changed from being 4ish to being - today - 7.30. However, at the moment it's midnight and [Daughter 2] is coughing away, which makes me wonder if the night is actually going to be unbroken. Both she and [Daughter 1] have been waking occasionally, [Daughter 1] with night terrors.
But then, there's -
January 9, 1985
[Son] - I adore him. He has a lovely little, smooth, soft, bouncy face, with a dimple in his left cheek when he smiles, which he does a lot. I love carrying him around. He's at the stage when he just leans against you in a relaxed way, not struggling to get down. I can't help being surprised that I'm so besotted with a boy. I really did think girl babies were much nicer!
I did indeed think girl babies were nicer, just because I loved my own girls. I mean, I knew it was silly; but I felt it all the same - until I had my son, at which point I fully saw the charms of boy babies. Ah, nature, how it programmes us to nurture our young!