4 February 2020
In South Africa we have 11 official languages and I am fluent in two of them. My mother tongue or first language is Afrikaans and when there is a big age gap between siblings we call the last born child a “laatlammetjie”. I love this word. If translated directly it means late lamb – or a lamb born late in the lambing season. I have a lamb that was born late in my birthing season.
Our youngest child was born three months before my 39th birthday. I had my other two children before I was thirty and our late lamb was not planned. And now three months before my 49th birthday, my precious boy had his 10th birthday.
Before I was pregnant with him, we were the stereotypical family with two children – a girl and a boy. I always thought that this was the perfect family to have. I have two hands that can be held. They have two parents who can each carry a child. In my mind I didn’t have the capacity for another child and also we didn’t have the extra space in our house.
What I didn’t take into account was that his sister and brother would adore him from the moment they saw him and that they would be my helpers. Of course sometimes, they were more in the way than anything else, but always willing. I am of the opinion that someone who receives so much love must be a happy human. And he is.
He is a delightful child. Always ready with a smile, fun loving and caring. When I found out I was pregnant with him, I cried for a week. It wasn’t what I’d planned. Everything I dreamt about for the future, had to be re-evaluated and redesigned around this new life. And everything did change, but in the best possible way. He may not have been planned, but after the initial surprise, he was and is most welcome in this life. A few days ago, we celebrated his 10th birthday.
He is no longer a little child (hasn’t been for a while, I suppose), but now I am confronted by just how much time has gone by. The big kids, my husband and I were all a bit emotional on his birthday. We were so aware that the little boy has been growing up while we were living life and is now a big boy, a pre-teen. He was oblivious and just enjoyed the cake, presents and time spent with loved ones.
I am a bit sad that he is growing up so fast, a bit glad that he is growing up to be a great human and a bit mad that I can’t freeze time to have more time. I hope he will always know how much we all love him and that he was the best surprise that we could have wished for.