Monday, 24 November 2008

The Day Before

Sixteen years ago today, on the 24th of November 1992, Doreen and I were at the City Hospital in Nottingham, attending her then daily appointments at the maternity unit. Our first child was a tad late - about ten days late at that point - and the doctors were telling us that if nothing happened that night they would induce Doreen the next morning. We went home, I went into work and had my annual appraisal, then arranged to take the next day off.

About 2 am the next morning, Doreen started to have the sort of pains that make you think it's time. So we went back to the unit, only for the pains to stop. Nevertheless, we stayed there and waited.

I finally got home about 11 pm that night, after our first born son was born by Cassaerian section at 8 pm that night. It's funny the details that stay with you - I went to the Chinese takeaway down the road to get some supper, made a few phone calls, and sat down to watch The Prisoner.

Next thing I knew, it was four am.

Sixteen years later, and tomorrow Alastair celebrates his birthday. Where on earth did all the years go - will someone please tell me? By an irony worthy of the Big Man upstairs, we can't even have a proper birthday party on the day, as he has been awarded the Maths prize for his year and the awards ceremony is that night. Continuing in a family tradition - I won a couple, and Doreen's sister did as well - but it makes me even more proud of him for doing that.

There's another anniversary this week - ten years ago, I missed Alastair's birthday as I was at a meeting in London, but I got back at eight that night, we had some tea, and then the next day we packed to move from Nottingham to London. Doreen was carrying Stuart at the time, and we had a few tears and rows on the day, but eventually we set off and moved to our current house.

I must be getting older to remember these things as good if incredibly stressful times.


Howard Bagby said...

I wish Alistair a very happy birthday and congratulations on winning that prize.

OhKen said...

16 years..... Good Grief! It's funny, Mike.... I watch my own son get older, but somehow I never think about my online friends children getting older. Alistair would have been about 8 when we first met, I think... and I still think of him as that child.

I lift a glass in honor of Alistair, you, the sainted Doreen, and our mutual friends around the world....