Firstly I have to say a huge thank you to our friends who came and helped us celebrate J's birthday last weekend. It was a lovely afternoon and even though our little man was a little grumpy, in the end we all had such a good time. Looking at the photos of the 3 of us together cutting the cake, it amazed me how quickly the year has passed. Our son is not our baby anymore, he's a toddler, and a very cute one at that. It was great to have our friends together to celebrate that.
Our friends all ignored the "no presents" remark on the invitation and J received some great gifts, but one present stood out amongst them all, and that was a special gift for his parents. It was a charming wicker basket, disguised as a cardboard box, containing all sorts of grown-up goodies; wine, chocolate, fruit, cheese, and oysters. It came with the warning that the contents might lead to romance, and that romance can lead to first birthdays! It was an incredibly thoughtful gift and we were both really touched that someone had thought to acknowledge that we deserved a treat for the last 12 months. The sweet couple who gave us this gift don't have children (yet) and my first thought was a cynical one. Yes, it's all fun and games with your liquor and aphrodisiacs, but where's the romance nine months later when you have your knees in the air and a human being is coming out of you headfirst and hungry!? Little did they know, I thought to myself. Then, very quickly, the romantic in me took over. I started thinking about the start of a new life, the different ways our babies are created, and I loved the idea that our childless friends still have hope that a little bit of romance and some quality time is all it takes. And I realised that, even though we're not thinking about baby number two yet, I share that hope.
We've had friends who have fallen pregnant without even trying, by accident or design. Others fall pregnant easily enough, but have trouble staying that way. Some babies are planned and carefully timed, with a mummy and a daddy who are loving and committed. While others are the result of a chance encounter and too much of a good thing. Some people are born to reproduce and have more kids than they can cope with. While others try desperately for years to create a family without any luck. So many people have the will but lack the way, and need input from others to make their dream a reality. Some babies are made in a petrie dish, after their parents have been put through gruelling and very unromantic fertility treatment. With all of that in mind, I'm definitely hoping, for ourselves and our friends whose families aren't yet complete, that it really is as simple as a romantic night in.