We made it - hurrah - the boy is one and has been since Saturday. We had a party with all the gorgeous people we know and a few thunder storms thrown in for good measure. It was supposed to be an afternoon tea garden party and instead it was more of a barn raising - but we still ate scones - and a rather marvellous cake made by my sister girl. I will post pictures once my lovely photographer has sent them to me - you're a star Stu.
We decided to make his birthday his naming day too. I wrote the ceremony myself because I wanted it to be personal. I managed to get most of the way through it before the tears started. First birthdays are tricky for Mummies there's the happiness that you've managed to grow your baby for a whole year and your excitement/consternation that your once tiny, helpless little new born is now a big toddler boy with a very independent streak - mixed in with the hideous memories of what exactly you were doing at precisely that time a year ago. I had to give myself several stern talkings too in the morning but by the end of the ceremony I'd lost it. Thank you to every who cried with me. And for those of you who missed it - and to save it for posterity here it is.....
Rufus Anthony Jones – Naming Ceremony – 18th June 2011
It might seem strange to be having a naming ceremony for a little boy who has been wearing his name for a whole year now. But it takes a while for you to own a name and for you to make a mark, however small, on the world. So for us it seemed fitting to wait until Rufus’ first birthday to formally welcome him into our lives.
A name is very important. It distinguishes us from others and gives us a sense of belonging in our family and community. Rufus – your name has been chosen with love and we hope it affords you a long and happy life. It means red head – and while some may fear that association, we feel that you have the strength of character to carry it off.
You have grown into your name in this past year – just as you have grown into our hearts. A Victorian writer called Elizabeth Stone once said that Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. And that is completely true. I never thought that I would be so fascinated by another person, that I could spend hours watching you sleep, eat and play. You have bought an enormous amount of love and happiness into our lives and have truly stolen both of our hearts.
Because of you our lives have changed forever – we are now a family and we are proud to be your parents. We cannot wait to help you grow up and to see what sort of way you make in the world.
It’s not just you who will be on this journey – we will grow as parents too. Someone once said that - As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can't tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it myself.
We don’t take our responsibility as parents lightly, we know we have the most important job to do in bringing you up and we hope that you will bear with us while we find our way. For our part...
We promise to always be here for you, to listen when you talk and to guide you through life’s joys and hardships.
We promise to respect and support your choices and nurture your dreams. We will share with you our talents and strengths and guide you away from our weaknesses.
Most importantly we promise to love you forever.
So far Rufus’ life has been all about our little family of three – but now he is one it’s time for him to start taking his first steps into the world. So we have asked you all here today to help us set him off on that journey. Everyone here will have some impact on the sort of person Rufus ultimately becomes. We all share the responsibility of shaping him into a person and we’d like to ask all of you to pass on your love, knowledge and wisdom to him as he grows up.
We have asked that some of our friends take a special role in Rufus’ life – as “guide parents” if you will. Our old friends Sharon and Darren and Catherine and Adam because of the wonderful job they are doing with their own children (we’re hoping to steal a few tips) and Paul – under the careful and sobering guidance of Jo because we know that one day you’ll be fantastic parents too.
We’d like to ask the six of you to make one simple promise to Rufus – and that is to always be there for him in those moments when we as his parents aren’t able to help and guide him. [When he’s trashed the house, dropped an Emma Bridgewater Mug or broken the X-box]
Finally we would like to say a few thank yous. First off to our families for the love and unfailing support you have given us over the past year. And to our NCT friends and other baby folk for getting us through the screaming, the daddy blues, the tantrums and for sharing our highs and lows – we hope we’ll all be together for many years to come.
And I would like to say a special thank you to two people – firstly to Tim – for growing into a great Daddy and being by my side even through the gruesome bits. And finally to my mum – I would never have been able to enjoy this amazing year as much as I have without your help. About this time a year ago you were walking me to my epidural and through the gas and air haze I remember asking you how the hell you did this twice. You said to me “I promise you that it will all be worth it once you have that baby in your arms” – now I don’t say this very often, but you were totally right.
So I’d like everyone to raise their glasses and toast Rufus Anthony Jones – may you live a long and happy life. To Rufus
So there we go - the little boy is one - I really can't believe it has been a year since we brought him home (the Jeremy cat still hasn't come to terms with it). It has been amazing and I feel so lucky to have been with him every singe day - I shall miss him terribly from my office desk - although I will admit I'm quite excited at the prospect of going to the loo in relative peace.
Mrs Jones is a far from yummy mummy with a penchant for M&S fudge bars and a mojito on a Friday night. She became Mrs Jones in 2009 and a mummy in 2010. In 2011 she is attempting to remember her own name and not put washing powder in the dishwasher....