One of the things I felt the lack of when I was pregnant was a sense of continuity for my child. My husband and I live ages from our families, neither of us have a family home or church or school that we can hope our child will go to; there is no family christening gown or aged rocking horse... I thought everything was going to have to be new.
About a year ago however, I loaded onto the record player in his room a Dr. Seuss album from the 1960s which I have been toting around with me since... well, since the 1960s frankly. It was The Sleep Book (b-side: If I ran the Zoo). He loves it, but he likes 'Green Eggs and Ham' even more which we read along with the record.
Shortly afterwards I went to visit my parents and discovered a box of wonders in their cellar. Now he drifts off to sleep under a Winnie The Pooh blanket made for me when I was his age by some unidentified aunt, perhaps, or family friend; he plays with my ancient building blocks and eats his pasta from my old Bunnykins bowl (which the frog hates; too twee and bourgeois and covered in bunnies) and he plays with some of my old cars, including a tiny London bus I've had for at least 35 years which he refers to as 'your special bus, Mummy'.
It's cool, I'm remembering more and more things from my early years. We're singing songs from 'Little Toot' while he's in the bath, a title which I have to say always makes me chuckle and go 'la la la' a lot - because what girl can remember all the words to a song about a tugboat 40 years after the fact?
I'm enjoying handing these pieces of my childhood on to my own child and am very conscious that this sharp and often wearisome thing we call the present is actually his past and the most important thing we can give him.
There are a few more things in the mystery box that he will inherit as the years go by but the most important thing is, of course, a sense of family; a sense of continuity. Something that I hope ultimately will hold me in good stead when I am old and frail and in need of a real special bus; or at least, a son with enough charity to keep an eye out for his old Ma and perhaps wrap her knees with a Pooh blanket on a cold afternoon.