12 Jan Some Enchanted Evening
Today is our eldest son Ethan’s 14th birthday. It’s an enchanting age. If you find listening to dubstep remixes on the way to school and eating spaghetti by sucking up one strand at a time enchanting, that is. It is also somewhat bizarre to tell off someone who is quite a bit taller than you and it’s also the first time in a lot of years that I’ve kissed someone and was left with a moustache burn. I’m just not that sort of lesbian. But I digress. Back to Ethan. This morning, he wanted to know exactly what time he was born. ’9.45 am’ I replied without hesitation. He was impressed with the sharpness of my recollection especially since I am prone to wander around the house most mornings looking for car keys that are in my hand. But that was an easy question, to be fair, because nothing can erase from my mind the memory of Hanan’s organisational skills around our son’s birth – organisation that, in fact, began years before conception.
Not long after we had fallen in love, she turned to me with a toss of her curly head and declared that she would be having a child when she turned 36. I may have missed that part in ‘I Can’t Think Straight’. ‘That’s three years away,’ I said, puzzled. ‘I just wanted you to be aware. Because it’s happening, with or without you.’ And they say romance is dead. Refusing to bow to dismay, I made a decision to take this as a vote of confidence in my potential as a partner and a parent. And to be honest, I wasn’t sure she actually meant it. Three years later, on the day after Hanan’s 36th birthday, we were on a train somewhere when an electronic ping broke the hushed silence of the carriage. You can possibly imagine that fifteen years ago, Hanan was one of only 20 people on the planet who used an electronic organiser. Everyone looked up as she whipped out her Palm Pilot (remember those?) ‘Oh, I almost forgot!’ she said, reading the calendar with relief. Forgot what? I wondered to myself. To book dinner? To get a haircut? To buy me flowers, perchance? ‘To have a baby,’ she announced. You would have heard a pin drop in the carriage, if I hadn’t been hyperventilating.
And the rest is history, I thought, as we sat next to our two strapping sons as they inhaled popcorn all the way through Les Miserables in the cinema, thoughtfully waiting for Anne Hathaway to pause in lip-quivering tears to tip the last remains of their snacks crunchily into their mouths. Ah, romance. I’m sure it is alive and well. I guess I just need to look harder to find out where…