Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Oh, baby, baby, it's a wild world

Everything is going fine here in sunny Suffolk (which is actually sunny some of the time). We’re going to make a flying visit to Hampshire next weekend – a real flyer, and it’s going to be totally knackering, but we will get to meet the baby.

The fascinating thing about Alexander is that he’s not nearly a person yet. Not a person in the sense that other people I care about are. He sleeps much more of the day than I do and doesn’t have a whole lot to say for himself. He doesn't even try to control his bodily functions. And whilst it is possible to teach him lessons now which he could carry for life, there will be no conscious memory of events which take place now. He doesn’t really know what’s going on.

And yet, everybody loves the little chap nearly as much as they are ever going to. The love will change, as we get to know him, as we have reasons to admire or empathise with him, as he becomes more recognisable as an individual. However, none of us have any great investment in what he is like and what he might achieve – besides hoping that he’ll be happy and successful at the things he tries for. And it just goes to illustrate that essential point; that love has absolutely nothing to do with abilities and accomplishments. I hope Alex learns this sooner than I did.

Here is an absolutely gorgeous picture of Alexander and my Dad taken by his Dad - uh, Adrian, that is. Watch this space for non-baby-related posts real soon I promise.


Anonymous said...

To be realistic, Goldfish, feeling tender and protective towards the young of one's species is a basic survival requirement. That's why most societies put a premium on child protection of some kind and regard child killing or abuse as such a crime.

When I worked in theatres I assisted at a lot of caesareans. Do you know, every time a baby gave its first cry I could feel a pricking behind the eyelids, and looking around, I wasn't alone. Hardened, gnarled old Theatre Sisters, the original Gorgons, would take time to coo over parents and baby. It's a normal human instinct.

imfunnytoo said...

Have a good flying trip to see the little one and don't get too knackered.

Sally said...

Please post as many baby posts as you wish; your insights and thoughts on this new life entering our world are just as enjoyable and enlightening as your serious thoughts, and I love the baby (with assorted family) pictures. Some of us don't have contact with babies, so we are vicariously enjoying yours.

Although Alexander will have no conscious memory of his early life events, that is memory in his brain memory recalled in words, he will have a physical memory. My understanding is that recalled memories are begun to be laid down as we acquire language and are there when we have the words to access them, but prior to acquiring language, our early experiences (pre language acquisition)we have memories of in our body - particularly our stomach, which is made of the same cells as the brain (which is why we feel emotions in our stomachs - butterflies, anxiety/churning).

So Alexander will have warm fuzzy loved tummy-full happy memories from this time.


Marcelle Proust said...