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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

Family

I was sitting in my brother's kitchen yesterday, holding my five day old nephew, who had just been fed and was now fast asleep, drunk on milk, in my arms.  New born babies are amazing and terrifying to me.  Their breathing is so fast and odd, their movements while they sleep so comical, and the miniature perfection of their features - ears, fingers, mouths - so beautiful to look at.

My Mum reminded me of a story that I have been told about my whole life.  Just after I was born, a girl came to stay with my parents.  She was pregnant, unmarried, and unable to go home as it would bring disgrace on her family (a situation which was still ridiculously and disgracefully common in Ireland in the late 1970s).  She had her baby, and he was immediately taken from her and put up for adoption.  She stayed on with my parents to recover, and used to spend hours just holding the new born me.  Mum said that she said that being able to do that, being able to hold a new life in her arms, was the only thing that helped her to carry on.

It is wonderful and appalling how history can repeat itself.


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