I mentioned fit for 40 in my last post. I do plan to post my list of goals for my 40th year on the planet but I haven't managed to finish the list off yet. I'm stuck somewhere between trying to actually set and train for a big fitness related goal or two in 2013 and taking a year to focus on other, more broad life ambitions that include some athletic pursuits. Tied to entering middle-age is the realization that even though I have never planned for or wanted to have kids, now is the time that I am actually facing that reality: the child-free/childless life. As my friend Monika says, that ship has already sailed even if I am sort of pretending that it hasn't.
In addition, three good friends have had their second babies in 2012. Two of these have happened in the last 6 weeks. So it's another round of having babies on the brain. With aging, children, parents and family on my mind, I wanted to share this very cool little note that I picked up from my father's house this summer. It is my grandmother's writing and D.C.R. are my father's initials. It's a record of my grandma's experiences in the month or so following the birth of her first and only child: my dad.
Did the archivist in me just about lose it? You betcha. This is awesome.
Born 12:25pm Sunday Nov. 21st 1943 after
a Caesarean section operation at St. Luke's
Maternity Hospital. The operation performed
by Doctor [Rippener]. Nurse: Sister Boews
Weight 8lbs 8oz. Height 20 ins
[Came] out of St. Luke's on Monday Dec. 6th at 3pm
Was fetched by his father and grandmother
in standard [a] Y.C. 7070 and after a trip to
Bradford arrived at 10 Sandywell Road about
First seen by his father on Nov. 21st at 7:20pm
great grandmother Dec 6th maternal grandmother Nov. 24th at 2pm
aunt Annie "
" grandfather Nov. 27th at 7:30
aunt Kath "
paternal grandfather Nov. 28th at 7:30
aunt Myra Dec 10th
Bradford from [Giggleswick]
Comparatively quiet & sleepy
Dec 12 first ride in pram (Lilian’s) by Kathleen
Dec 13th 2 small [?] showed in his right ear
“ 15th tongue slightly cut by Dr. Beverley
who had attended him and his mother
Dec 19th 1st photograph
Dec 21 Circumcised by Drs Beverley & Shaw at
Unfortunately, I don't have page 2. Who knows, maybe my grandmother wrote a whole notebook full of thoughts as a new mother. I find so much of this fascinating. First of all - so little of the description has anything to do with how she is feeling or what my dad is like (aside from the brief note that he was "comparatively quiet & sleepy.") It's no surprise to me that my grandfather wasn't present for the birth but I find it bizarre that she has recorded the dates that my dad was "seen" by the relatives. Perhaps the most interesting thing to me though is to note that the first photograph of my father was taken 28 days after he was born. Times sure have changed, haven't they?
Here's one of my favourite photos of my dad. Not quite a newborn but still pretty cute. This outfit would be considered pretty girly these days, I would think - formal portrait or not. I wish we put babies in more gender non-specific clothes. As Ben would say "toss 'em in a pillowcase with space cut out for the head for the first few months. That's all they need." Sigh.
Sex, gender and babies - that's another post entirely.. for someone else to write.