Sunday, May 13, 2007

The full set

Ahh, shucks - thanks for your kind comments on my children. On second thoughts, here's the whole brood. Though I do think in my motherly/auntly way that they're quite nice-looking, the important thing is that they're all lovely, caring young people. The photographer said to me afterwards, "They all get on very well, don't they?" - and it's absolutely true: they do. I think you can see it in the photo. The five of them are more like brothers and sisters than cousins - lots of fun and giggles and in-jokes. It's a pity that my nephew and niece live down south of London.

I have two aunts but no cousins. Deprived.

I always wanted four children, but alas, my husband would never agree. He was an only child, so three seemed quite a lot to him. I shall always regret my missing fourth child - even though I know I'm very lucky to have the ones I do.

My mum took us out for dinner tonight: the three "children" and their significant others, my husband and me. It was a nice occasion, but of course it seemed very odd, and sad, for my father not to be in the party.

When I consider the last few child-centred posts, I don't want anyone reading this who has no children to feel I'm suggesting that life without descendants isn't worthwhile. I love our children with a passion; but on the other hand, children do remove any chance of achieving anything much in the way of other self-fulfilment. Or so I've found it, though some less clingy mothers do seem to manage to write books, star in films, run companies. But most of us just go to work (or not) and wash the kitchen floor and pack the schoolbags and so on. Which is fine. Life is infinitely various and interesting, even if not when one is washing the kitchen floor.


  1. I do enjoy watching, in our family, how the cousins, big and little, aren't just relatives, they're also friends. How lovely for you to have photos like these.

    In reply to your comment, the long summer twilight in the UK is a wonderful thing, and to be savoured, you're quite right.

  2. More nice photos.

    I had bucketloads of cousins: what fun we had, too.
    My children have far less, and there is a big age gap.

    Funnily enough, your daughter with the longer hair is the IMAGE of my cousin, Melissa.

    The juggling of motherhood and life can be quite hard. I try and cheer myself up while housecleaning by saying "thank god I even HAVE a kitchen sink to scrub..."

    this works on the odd occasion.

  3. Your children look wonderdful, & it is lovely they get on so well with cousins. We had cousins like that, & we are still great close friends today.

  4. What great pictures! And I love, in your previous post, how your children still look so much like they did when they were little -- you can definitely tell which young child belongs to which older child. Isn't it great fun watching them grow and change -- just nothing like it in the whole world!

  5. It is an interesting thing to speculate on....what one's life would be like if one had never had children...the road not taken. I identified so completely as my childrens' mother, for so many years, that it's taken me a while to adjust to not being needed so much, not being quite so indispensible as I used to be....but now I'm finding I quite like it!

  6. Lovely photo's..and what a special gift for your Mum's birthday. Your Dads 85th birthday gift sounded fantastic. I've always wanted more than one child..but it's 99.9999% unlikely as my husband doesn't want anymore. I do mourn that.

  7. I think the photos are lovely, and they do all look like such good freinds. I bet your Mum will be/was delighted with the present!

  8. More lovely photos .... justifiably proud mama ....

  9. What a nice looking group. I didn't have close cousins growing up -- not in age or geography -- my boys do get to see their cousins a lot and I love the way they all jump right in where they left off.

  10. Hi, Isabelle. I love the photos and stories about your children and their cousins. I know you son must have been excited to deliver those babies.

    I think it would be hard for me not to have had kids, but I know people who have made the decision not to...some not to marry...because of career. To each his or her own.

    Interestingly, when I was a child I had a Scottish pen pal named Isabelle Tate. Don't know what happened to her.

    Talk to you soon.

  11. This comment is unrelated to those handsome children, since I've already commented on them. LOL. (And I couldn't find your e-mail address to send you this unrelated topic.) Just wanted to say thanks for your definition of pinafore. That was an "English" (which we all speak, haha) difference that I also didn't realize. We would identify a pinafore as something more dressy. Most commonly pictured as the little "apron" that would be found on a little girl's dress. Definitely not something to be covered with cooking spills. Aprons from the waist down just aren't enough coverage for me either!