Wednesday, 21 July 2010

(just for the record)

There have been so many new babies
in the Department this year
that my budget for celebration flowers
has been joyfully stretched to the limit.

We know the date and wait for news.
The email arrives:
"I have a beautiful baby daughter..."

They stare solemnly out of the photo,
little French twins, petit pois.

She is swaddled and sleeping.
Her parents looked shocked with sleeplessness.

He is a placid baby
and smiles slowly,
showing two pearly teeth,
when I bounce him on my knee.

I shut the door and make her sit down.
She leans back in the chair beside my desk
and relaxes while I hold the baby.

He leaves the office with Post-It notes
on his jumper
and on his nose
and on his little chubby fingers.

She is very shy...
but she blows me a kiss...
much to the surprise of her father and mother.

He is clutching a miniature Woolly Mammoth.
Not difficult to guess whose son he is.

She is proud of her baby brother
but the lure of the swivel chair
is too distracting to maintain the image
of a responsible two year old Big Sister for long.

Will this little boy,
hiding behind his father's legs,
be good with computers too?

She is younger than me
but is already a grandmother.
I look at the photo of her tiny grand-daughter
and wonder what the future holds for me.

Somewhere in Edinburgh
the newest little Geographer is asleep
on the edge of the world that awaits him.


  1. ooooo squirly sweet babies. Shame to think that our next venture with them will be grandparenthood.

  2. This "(just for the record)" gave me goosebumps down my back. I don't know if it's because of the thrill of the new little lives, or the fact that they are all connected to us now via YOU.

    On second thought, I think it's viewing it all via your words that does it.

    Thanks Alice xxxx

  3. I really can't say it better than our Eleanor..


  4. Gracious, that is a lot of babies. Is there something in the water?

  5. I love the Woolly Mammoth.

  6. just for the record always makes my heart skip, this one was no exception x

  7. Such a beautifully written post Alice, you have such a gift for expressing so much emotion through very carefully chosen prose.

  8. Oh my, that was a bit tear-inducing! Such beautiful words to express the inexpressible.

  9. I used to love babies.

  10. As soon as I saw the map I knew it was 100 acre woods. A map as familiar as a map of my own country.

    There is nothing so lovely in this life as a baby. They share a joy that can barely be expressed in words. Your Department cup is running over...

  11. A lovely post Alice. My daughter's friends have been supplying us with lots of new little people over the last year, too. I love it when they visit or send photos, and they've kept me sewing and knitting all year.

  12. That is a lot of babies. But to read your description is simply beautiful. Eleanor couldn't have said it better.

  13. they get more interesting once they start to talk imho. Teenagers can be quite interesting too

  14. AnonymousJuly 22, 2010

    Such a beautiful post. Your way with words is wonderful.

  15. 100 Acre many treasured childhood memories. Aren't babies special :-)


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