This granny is celebrating the arrival of her third grandchild. I spent my birthday week awaiting news of the new arrival, and not so secretly hoping that we might end up sharing the date. As it happened, he arrived some 3 days later, choosing to have his own birthday.
Yes, he, my third grandchild is a boy. The exciting message arrived by WhatsApp, the 21st century telegram: ‘You have a grandson!’ It was a moment of pure joy. After 3 daughters and 2 granddaughters, I can’t deny that it also came as a bit of a surprise.
‘He’s a boy.’ It’s a simple and factual statement, but strangely one that has provoked an unsolicited emotional response from some quarters. I had been perfectly happy with a run of girls. I feel equally happy to now have a gender mix in my grandchildren. Apart from anything else, it gives him the privilege of being a first to us.
He’s delightful and adorable, not because of his gender but because he is so lovely. (And I’m not biased in the slightest.) A child of either gender arriving into our family will always be much celebrated and loved. But I confess that I have been a little shocked this week by the reaction of a few folks as I tell them the news. You must be so pleased with a boy at last, they say. As if I were a Tudor monarch, seeking to secure the succession. As if my daughters and granddaughters have been a disappointing failure.
I want them to know that they are not. My daughters are all successful, strong women. My granddaughters are adorable, whether spinning in a pink tutu or splashing through a muddy puddle. Or both, simultaneously. There is no doubt that my grandson is equally adorable.
And, I hope that he will soon want to paddle in the North Sea with his Granny and his cousins.