Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Pancake Birthday

Our wee boy Connor turns 10 today. Which is marvellous and a tiny bit scary. 

I found a few poems I wrote before he was born, and this was the first thing I wrote for him, just after Sharon and I had finished clearing up the spare room to turn it into a Baby Bedroom. 

In looking through my wee notebook of half-poems and jibberish from that time, I realised that I'd written quite a few of these wistful "waiting" poems. Much less of them in the year after he was born...

We've a wonderful wee family now, and can only imagine a time before that, rather than accurately remember - it always just seems there's a bit missing.  But for all its fluffiness, re reading this does genuinely remind me of that very specific feeling of pre-fatherhood; of painting things and buying baby stuff that just sits there for months, as if being a parent is some sort of new hobby that you need all sorts of equipment to be good at; of trying not to just be hanging around the edges of the process, wanting to be as useful as possible; about worrying and theorising over what being a dad actually entails, before you very quickly realise that your own father and every other parent are mostly winging it and learning as they go. The best days are when you get lucky and it's right. Better still is realising that no book, no advice, will actually prepare you for how fantastic it is when they are here. Though at this point I should probably point out that none of my children are teenagers yet...

I've seen
Six little socks.
Read books,
Calendars, clocks,
Watched you
Twist and kick,
All the time
Wanting only to hold you.
So I stand by the bed,
And I wait til you're there,
Where a new moon
Fills the room
And beams between
The tall clocks and belltowers,
The church steeple skyline
You'll dream you can fly by.
Where a rocket
Blasts across your blue walls
Enroute to the stars,
And a chiming frog
Keeps time with the breeze
That whispers
Round the apple tree in your garden.
All these things,
The books and boots
And moons and frogs
And apples and whispers
Half fill in an old box
In the space where you'll be.
But what we have to give
Can't be packed away.
Won't stay in a box.
Is out, is here, is now
Just waiting
For you to find.

For Connor, 2003 and 2013