Nobody told me ‘as you get older you get more relatives’

Saturday 20th August

Well this isn’t really true, but it just seems like it.  As a child you are aware of Mum and Dad and maybe two sets of Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles drift in and out and cousins are everywhere but somehow none of these matter.  You don’t have to buy presents or even cards for their Birthday’s and Christmas, and what is more you don’t even have to remember their Birthday’s at all – or even your own; you have Mum and Dad for that.  As a teenager you may start buying a card and a simple present for Mum and Dad out of your pocket money, or paper round wages (does anyone still have a paper round these days?).  In your twenties you are having so much fun that Birthday’s get forgotten all too often.  Then disaster; the Titanic is about to smash into an Iceberg – you fall in love (usually with the first person who wants to have sex with you…hahaha) and it is downhill from then on in.  You cannot possibly forget your loved one’s Birthday, and then as the last funnel disappears beneath the waves you cling onto a passing lifebelt and get married.

Suddenly you have a whole raft of new relatives – your in-laws, and even if you would rather forget their birthdays your partner won’t let you.  A couple of care-free married years before, like all the others before you, you start to have children.  Divorce looms and you wave goodbye to one set of in-laws only to glad-hand another set as you re-marry (hope over experience – we never learn…hahaha).  Pretty soon your kids are grown and having kids of their own and it is Grand-dad and Nana who are buying presents and proudly declaring to the world that they have 8 (is it really 8) Grandchildren already.  Then they grow up and great-grandchildren swarm in – if you live long enough.  And suddenly you have more relatives than you ever thought possible.

I have eight Grandchildren so far, three are grown-up and any year now I may be a Great Grandaddy.   As I played with my dinky toys on the kitchen floor I would never have thought it possible – well, nobody told me it might happen.