Our son Mark is five years old today. He was born as a ‘Monday to Firday, 9 to 5’ baby – that is, by elective Caesarean Section after Debbie had a rough final trimester in the pregnancy. (Seventeen months earlier, Rebekah had been an emergency Caesarean.) Debbie went into the hospital at seven in the morning while I took Rebekah to her childminder. But the planned trip to theatre at nine never happened, due to crises. Eventually, Mark was born at 2:21 pm.
A scheduled date for August had bothered me. It always would have been tight for him to stay in the womb until September, but I was bothered about him being one of the youngest in his school classes. (The school year begins in September in the UK.) I need not have worried, he has turned out to be the brightest child in his class by a distance. Amazingly, he is also one of the tallest. And had he been a September birth and had to wait until next month to begin school, I don’t know how he would have coped. I’m a proud Dad, in case you hadn’t noticed.
Having no brothers myself, I had always wanted to have a son, to keep the family name going. I know, it’s a guy thing. Not that I love our daughter any less – far from it, I feel a similar special father-daughter bond with her, compared with that my Dad has always had with my sister. And as our firstborn, she holds a special place in my heart. Besides, she is the most beautiful girl in the world!
Mark has certainly inherited my love of all things academic. He devours books, and has even started writing his own. Yesterday, he started writing his own Bible! He gets fixated on one thing and won’t let go. I call it tenacity and perseverance, Debbie calls it an obsession. It will stand him in good stead as he learns more.
He does have a redhead’s temper, though, and combined with the stocky build (that’s not from me) he’s developed in recent months, I don’t think he’ll have the trouble with bullies that I suffered for many years. I won’t be sorry if that’s the case, although he’ll need to improve his social skills in terms of conflict resolution as he gets older!
For some months now, he has compiled a list of girlfriends – especially one girl called Lily, but there are about thirty names on the list. They go on the list whether they consent or not – they just have to be girls he likes. One day he will learn that one woman is (more than) enough! But yesterday on the beach, Rebekah made friends with a five-year-old called Carla. Mark joined in, chatting the hind legs of a donkey. When Carla had to say goodbye, she came up to him and planter two smackers on his face. He looked so happy!
So – happy birthday, son!