Monday 23 August 2010

Some Dreams Come Alive

Baby Sister’s Naming Ceremony

“A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten and the future worth living for.”
Author unknown (Please tell me if you know the author!)

“At my eldest daughter’s naming ceremony we had loads of people, a cake, a poem read by a professional actress friend and the whole thing filmed by my mate who’s a TV producer. I spent weeks planning it, but for Baby Sister we’ve picked a week where we happen to be in Angel and The Doctor’s parents are visiting from Gallifrey*. I chose the poems I’m going to read last night, on a laptop, while Baby Sister cried next to me, wouldn’t go to sleep, and eventually when I picked her up to sit out on the back deck with me, she did an explosive poo, that splurged out of the edges of her nappy, and all over my hands.

What I’m trying to say, baby, is that I’m sorry but having two tiny children makes me so busy that there wasn’t time to plan a beautiful party for you, but I want you to know that a lot of people love you and you are the best baby in the world, to us.

How did she get her name? We liked the name when our eldest was born, and it was on our short list then. This time, we knew that we were having a girl, and the other names we thought of were Ava, and Lola. It took us nearly a week to name her I think. For about three days she had no name. Then for one day we tried calling her Lola. We love the name but it didn’t feel right. The next day we called her Ava. We also loved the name but Ava means swift, or bird-like, and her birth was a very swift, quick labour, so we made Ava her middle name and gave her a wintery first name, because she was expected in December.

She came so quickly that she arrived before the ambulance men or midwives, and her birth story has become a bit of a legend on the towpath telegraph. She was born at home on a boat. Delivered by my husband, and it was a strange day for her big sister too, who was a little bit scared.

So, we just want to say, welcome to the world, and I’ve picked a couple of poems to read for you, and one that I wrote myself.

Follow your dreams baby,
You are one of mine
I dreamed of you once
Upon a long time

You were a thought
And you were my wish
And while you were sleeping
I wrote to you this:

Some dreams become people
And whatever you strive
For, if you follow your dreams
Some dreams come alive.”

I really enjoyed the weekend. The Doctor’s parents were here to visit. We had the naming ceremony party in a pub function room. It was really sunny weather, too hot for the children really, we had to find shady places to go.
The naming drinks was small and friendly. There were lovely poems and speeches, cold white wine and hot sun streaming in tall windows of a charming old pub. We filmed it a bit and I filmed Big Sister asking her if she has any messages for Baby Sister when she’s older?
She came up close to the camera so that her mouth and lips filled the frame:
“I love you,” she said, and walked away. Do you want to say anything else?
“No,” she said.

The Doctor’s parents were babysitting while we went out for a date, the first one in months! It was a lovely Mediterranean restaurant; cosy lanterns, mussels starter, tuna steaks and red wine. Sloshing along the street afterwards I asked The Doctor for reassurance that he still likes us being married. I feel conscious that I’m more exhausted mum than attentive wife, mostly. The Doctor says, that’s ok, it’s just what we’re doing at the moment, but he does really want to be with me. I was drunkenly relieved and reassured.

We went to a bluesy pub for a drink, but before we had one sip my mother-in-law phoned with a baby screaming emergency. We left our drinks on the table, briskly walked the five minute walk home and could hear our baby crying as we approached the towpath gate in Colebrooke Row. The poor little one had awoken, and not so familiar with Gran and Granddad, was terribly frightened and wanted one or both parents. The Doctor and I both felt our hearts wrench as we craved to hold her and halt her distress. The Doctor reached her first and she stopped crying as soon as he held her small body. I clutched her soon after and held her tight to my chest and softly cradled the back of her velvet head in the palm of my hand. My baby, peaceful, needed me, and I needed her. She felt safe and was quiet. I breathed out and relaxed. All was right with the world. Date over. Reunited. Baby and I are one.

The Baby

She sucks in time like a crack in the universe
She absorbs our love like a sponge
Her tiny fingers curl around things
Grasping onto bits of this reality
As she takes shape and form
Softly curved, perfectly soft
Bent knees kick out like popcorn explosions in the saucepan of life
She giggles like sunlight on rippled canal water
As she drinks in the novelty of this strange new world.


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