Friday, 16 October 2009

Four Girls

It’s been a week since the girls were born. I can’t work out whether it seems longer than a week or shorter. It’s both.

I forgot to mention – and it’s a shame because I was so full of it during the morning – how delighted I was that they were born on John Lennon’s birthday. So much so that, had we had a boy, we would have called him John. Which is nice because I also had an uncle John and I reckon my dad would have liked that, to have another John Saxton in the family.

But we had two girls. And I think I’m speaking for both of us when I say that that was the last combination we were expecting. In a strange way it was because of that surprise, and the fact of them being girls, that seemed, for me anyway, to make it so much harder. Little girls shouldn’t have to be put through what they – especially Maggie –went through. That’s not right, is it?

Their full names, by the way, are Maggie Anne Saxton and Alice Marie Saxton. MAS and AMS.

This means that I now have three daughters. All of a sudden the girls win. And it’s that which explains why, although I’m Shannon’s number one boy, she’s my number four girl. It goes like this:

1. Louie
2. Maggie
3. Alice
4. Shannon

Kids come first, I’m afraid. If we’d have had two boys, I’d now be Shannon’s number three boy.

(It’s a sort of joke, of course. I say it because it makes Shannon laugh.)

But still, even with that, I think it’s nice and right that Louie is still my number one girl. And hopefully Maggie and Alice will think so too when they get a bit older and discover what a wonderful, clever and beautiful big sister they’ve got.

And wonderful older brothers. Especially my number one boy, master Tom. He’s been fantastic throughout all of this and I’m a little ashamed (but not too much) that I haven’t mentioned this before. He was there for me when Shannon was whisked away and I was left all alone; and he’s been here for us all since then. He’s funny too and I like that he still takes the piss out of me. I also like that he doesn’t take the piss out of Shannon too much at the moment. But no doubt that’ll change as soon as she gets better and we’ll both be there again, making Shannon the butt of our jokes. As we always say, funny overrides everything – even if it’s deeply hurtful, offensive and inappropriate.

I would write something very nice about Shannon here but that’ll just look like a tit for tat response to the lovely things she said about me yesterday. In response to what she wrote, I’ll just say that I always knew that all those years of low standards and minimal effort would pay off – I bung a ready meal in the oven and pass her a tissue and all of a sudden I’m boyfriend of the year. Fantastic.

But y’know, she can say what she likes about me but she’s the one who’s been truly utterly amazing and brilliant and strong and brave. I can only imagine how this must be for her. And how it will be for her in the years to come. Still, it must be comforting to know that I’ll always be there, ready and willing to occasionally cook a meal and drag the girls to the park for an hour or so on a Sunday afternoon.

Shannon’s going to do this and she’s going to be fucking great at it. I know it and you know it - but I’m not sure if she knows it. She will though, eventually.

Hurrah for Shannon - my number four girl!

* Newer pics - taken on Thursday - after Shannon's 'Room 3' post below.


  1. Paul, The paragraph just before "Hurrah for Shannon-my number 4 girl" Just brought tears to my eyes. Probably the nicest thing a man has ever said. Good luck to you 4-my thoughts and prayers are with you, and everything will be fine. There are a lot of things in this world you think you can't do--until you have to. God bless and love you. Shannon's cousin Jill

  2. Hurrah for Shannon indeed. And hurrah for all of you. Tom summed it up in his inimitable way on Facebook yesterday, stating that you and Shannon were "fucking heroes". Well said Tom. Give me a bell when you're free and I'll buy a hero a drink. All the best, Chris and MC x

  3. yes, she is and will be wonderful at it! Without a doubt.
    x Wini