He’s 16 months old and I haven’t acknowledged his existence in writing. I must be the world’s worst aunt. And I fancy myself an aunt of note. Typically for childless women, we dote on nephews and nieces in ways no one else understands. Strangely the kids tolerate this with patience and undeserving kindness. My sister has selflessly shared her boys with me, and with the younger two, I’ve been living close enough to see them regularly since their birth.
Dad Matt with his two boys
The most recent of them is Charlie, born in February 2012. Charlie was born with a smile on his face, I’m sure of that, because the boy is sunshine personified. As number four of four he finds himself having to fit in with the busy lives around him, and being Charlie, he has no problem with that, he cheerfully fits in and joins in. He’s a chatty, friendly little fellow who busies himself with all kinds of hobbies – gardening and ball sports. Perhaps it’s a boy thing or perhaps it’s a sporting genes thing, but Charlie cannot resist a ball, a rugby ball, a tennis ball, a soccer ball, all the above, he loves playing with balls. Should he play for the Boks one day, I’m the one who called it! And like his brothers, and both parents, he loves a book and reads to himself in bed at night.
Mom Kirsten with her four sons, March 2012
A fourth child will never enjoy the undivided attention Number One receives, and – heaven forbid – an only child. Parents of only children usually think they are the only people ever to have embarked on breeding and theirs is a particularly unique situation and theirs is such a special child that everyone else has to think so too. Parents of single children are particularly annoying. I think if you’re going to have a family then do it properly. Like my sister did.
Four spectacular boys, who have learned that life is about sharing, about taking others into consideration, about not always getting what they want, about having to make do without sometimes and about being a family.