The Twelve Blogs of Christmas #6: A three and a half year old describes Christmas.

Photo by Lili Gooch

Photo by Lili Gooch

I don’t want to tell anyone about Christmas because you’re not my friend because you won’t let me blow the silver blower because the dog doesn’t like it.


Christmas is all about – I love my headphones – my people coming like Gran-Gran and Nanna and my cousins.


I like Christmas because little FlatOut – my friend FlatOut – is squeaking and he likes Christmas because he likes to help everyone. And Billy doesn’t look Christmassy because he hasn’t got a Christmas hat – can we get him one from the shops?


Everyone comes at Christmas, don’t they? At Christmas Eve my friends are coming – and my pink table can be the table for all the guys at Christmas. And Lily will need a comfy chair – can I put it there ready for Christmas now? Please? I just want to make it look like it needs to be so everyone can sit on my table and sit next to me for Christmas. Why not now?


But I’ve already told you all about Christmas, Daddy. Stop asking me.


Yes, oh and there are presents for Christmas, that’s correct. Because we get presents and can I look at what’s in those presents? Please, Daddy. OK – well I don’t want to wait. But OK.


Can you wipe my nose?


And the Snowman – I love that. That’s for Christmas as well, isn’t it Daddy? I love it – they sing in the sky – it’s so good isn’t it? It’s my favourite in the world. But I love Fungus the Bogeyman too because he’s so sticky at Christmas.


There’s roast chicken for Christmas, cake, I love cake, don’t I?


And Father Christmas comes and gives us presents, he’s red – that’s my favourite colour. And I can watch Rex at Christmas Eve. You know Rex. Rex, Daddy, Rex. This one here – Rex. Yes Shrek – that’s what I said.


And Christmas is pretty; it’s pretty at Christmas. And our tree is good and so magical for Christmas. And look – there’s a Father Christmas candle hiding behind that card map. And that’s what friends are for.


At Christmas everyone is friends together. I do like Christmas; I do Daddy.


But I don’t want to tell you any more about Christmas, because you can think on your own, can’t you, Daddy. So just do that, ok?

Notes from a Grandmother

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI was thinking about my grandson recently (as I so often do) and decided to “strike while the iron’s hot” and put pen to paper so here goes…

When I learned I was to become a grandmother, a million thoughts filled my head…many of them negative. With a little perspective thinking I realized that this was about the happiness of my son, his wife and their son. I felt there would be large hurdles. One is distance, we live an ocean apart. How to bond?
When he was eleven months old, Skype introduced my grandson to me. I was shocked and amazed at my immediate, overwhelming feeling of love for him. I couldn’t hold him but through the miracle of Skype, I could visit him regularly and discover his delightful personality. I could watch him develop. For example I saw him learn to walk.
When I learned that an expensive, complicated trip was planned to visit me, I was excited, thrilled and apprehensive. It had been decades since I had had any experience with an infant or toddler. When I saw him walk in, I fell in love all over again. He acted as if we had always known each other showing no fear or curiosity of my wheel chair.
I rarely think of him as adopted. I simply think of him as having a wonderful home and parents. His poor father was raised on old wives tales and Dr.Spock but his grandmother loved him very much too.
Like all grandmothers, I am absolutely certain that this is a very special boy with special talents that are already emerging.
Thanks to his parents, this wonderful child has given joy and purpose to a solitary life.

Just a little bit of sadness.

Photo by Lili Gooch

Photo by Lili Gooch

I love my sons utterly and completely and I love my life as a parent, they bring so much joy and a level of happiness unlike anything I have experienced before, however there is one thing that stops my joy being 100% – the fact that my mother never got to meet the boys and that they don’t have her in their lives.

She died 14 years ago – 11 years before we adopted – and at just 62 was way too young, her death has of course left a huge hole in my life and indeed in the lives of all those who were close to her and she is still missed greatly most every day. Her death was before it became possible for gay people to adopt so from the day of my coming out she had never even considered that I could be a parent and I was always aware how deeply upsetting and painful that was for her. Consequently I know how elated she would now be to see me as a father.

I guess most people think that their mothers are ‘ the perfect mother’ as they were taught what mothering is about by them, however some mothers are just more… well… motherly and my mother was one of those mothers who are the most motherly – and indeed grandmotherly – of all.

She lived for her children – or indeed anybody else’s children if allowed – and then when we were grown and my siblings had children of their own – she lived for her grandchildren.

She was a fantastic grandmother and was adored by her grandchildren, an adoration she so deserved as she put so much time, effort and thought into the role and it saddens me that my children don’t have that in their lives.

My partners mother is a wonderful grandmother, but lives 6000 miles away and consequently her relationship with our boys feels limited.

They have missed out on so much in their short lives and although we try our hardest to make up for that, I am so aware that a totally committed and unconditional grandmothers love on a day basis is just something we are unable to provide.