Su and I were the first visitors when he was born. He slept quietly and contentedly by his mother, and I think he had a smile on his small face even on his first day. His mother was brave enough to let us hold him, which we did, and I believe we had some pictures which got posted on Facebook. That was some ten days and four years ago at Queen Mary Hospital where both my children were also born. He was baptized at Christmas that same year and I became his godfather. His parents christened him William Solomon, but they call him Will.
Fast forward to this morning, Will’s parents had booked us for brunch after the Ricci Mass, we haven’t got together since we were back from Nepal. Will’s younger brother Matt, who was born a year ago, was fast asleep when we arrived at Craigengower Cricket Club, but he got up shortly afterwards and was very much alive. We sat down to order some food while his father took the baby for nappy change. Will was very much pre-occupied with a new Lego toy forklift truck which is meant for age 6 to 12, so Su tried her best to help him with the assembly. The father returned, had some food, sat the baby down and disappeared again. We ordered more food after he reappeared and all were busy with one thing or other, until a waitress brought in a birthday cake.
It must be a make-up celebration for Will’s or his brother’s birthday which passed while we were in Nepal, I thought to myself. No sooner had the waitress unwrapped the box than I saw the tag in white chocolate with “Happy Birthday Uncle John” on it. Everyone was busy once more: holding babies and Will for photos, putting a candle on the cake, birthday song, and blowing out the candle by Will on my behalf. I found out later that Will was involved in picking the cake which was covered with blueberries and stuffed with some purple ingredients and decorations, rather unique. He asked whether he could have the white chocolate tag which I gladly conceded and which he consumed in no time.
We decided to have coffee in the Family Lounge afterwards while Will and Matt went for the playroom which had had a face lift recently. The parents took turn to watch over the kids who had a great time jumping up and down working off the lunch and cakes while we had our coffee quietly. Some friends came over asking how we were getting on with our grannies. “I wish they were,” was all I could say to them. These friends obviously have not seen my children.
Yes, the mother is a year or two younger than my son, so I am old enough to have grannies of those ages, except that both my children had vowed not to have kids, even when their mother was still around. Friends have always tried to console me that things might change. Yes, they might, but I am not hopeful; and indeed, I have learnt not to hope for anything in that direction.
Will and Matt had tired themselves out and it was time to go home for their afternoon naps. The parents need some very much needed rest anyway. I took them home; and as usual, baby Matt fell asleep immediately. Will kept on talking to Su, keeping her very happy and had even invited her to play basketball with him. As I pulled up to Chi Foo Far Yuen which was where they live, Will spontaneously said to me, “Happy Birthday, Uncle John.” That was so sweet; and it really made my day.