A whole lot of love awaits Oliver Driver’s firstborn; a very special bough on a flourishing family tree.
Yesterday was your baby shower and it felt weird, in a way, that you were not there to see and hear and experience all the love and family and friendship that is already surrounding you. Sure, okay, you were there in your mother’s belly, you were the bump of the moment and there was much touching and admiring but I wished you could have been there, the adult you, to see just how wonderful your first party was. We had it at your Grandpa and Granny’s house, the day was scorching hot and blue and cloudless, and we ate and drank beneath trees a hundred years your senior. You have a massive family, you have your mother to thank for this. I come from a small family, one still finding its roots and filling its branches, you are to be a big and welcome addition to my side of our future family tree but I am eternally grateful that you are also going to be part of your mother’s large and history filled family. They have been here a long time and there are many of them but you are the first of their next generation so you're pretty special over there as well. You have two Great Grannies! I don’t even have one Granny so am pretty jealous. They are as different as can be and as wonderful as you could imagine. If I was a famous, fabulous writer, I would count myself very wise and clever indeed if I could come up with two such marvellous characters as these powerful wonderful women. They will spoil you rotten, you will be hugged and sniffed and pinched on a daily basis, be prepared. You have an army of aunts and uncles, cousins, and second, third and even sixth and seventh cousins too. You are also surrounded by our friends. They will be your aunts and uncles too, though not related by blood they are related by love and will always be there for you. They are mad and wonderful and they can’t wait to meet you.
Most of all, you have an amazing mother, other kids are going to be so jealous of your mum. Okay, she is probably going to forget to pick you up from school from time to time and you, like me, are going to have to get real good at pretending what she cooks for you is delicious. She will drop you once or twice for sure and all of your clothes are going to be stained all of the time. But she is going to make you wise and loving, she will show you how to discover joy in all aspects of life, she will give you an appreciation of beauty in things others never even see. She will teach you to be fair and honest. She will build huts with you and make walks an adventure. She will make you feel like you are the most special creature in all the world, she will never judge you or make you feel small, you and she will be best friends, you will have codes and secrets and shared looks, you will gang up on me and I will love it. You will love her as much as I do and that's as much as anyone can love anything.
You also have two dogs – one is fat and slow like a polar bear or a giant teddy, the other is sneaky and fast like a snake dragon. You have no name as yet, we have five or six that we like right now and hopefully you look and act like one of those. We use your mother’s sister to vet each name for its teasing potential. Dee Dee was a favourite of ours until we passed it by your aunt, she digested for a second or two before declaring you would be known as Double D Screw Driver so now it's off the list. You are naughty, we already know this to be true, you kick and poke and prod your mother, you keep her up at night and make her back hurt. We both think you are going to be worth it.
As I write this you're just three weeks away from your due date but we have been told again and again you can come sooner or later so really we are on standby from now. Your mother is lying on the couch you will grow up on, listening to a CD we got at hypno-birthing, we were supposed to listen to it months ago when we were doing the course but we never got round to it. We joke that this makes us bad parents already, this and the fact that we never seem to have the right forms at the right time. Your mother shuts her eyes as she listens to the relaxation CD, theoretically this is what she will do when she gives birth to you – it will be a calm and relaxed, even euphoric, affair. "I'm bored!" That's your mother. We have really tried to embrace our inner hippy but we are sadly not the type, the woman on the CD is making your mother annoyed rather than relaxed. It's all kind of pointless in my opinion because secretly I think your birth is going to be screams and yells, there will be anger and drama and none of the relaxation techniques we have learnt are going to happen, let alone work. We are both kind of dreading it, funny that something we are so excited about has to start with something we are both pretty scared of. We are told horror stories nearly every day, for some reason nearly every mother we meet feels the need to launch into a tale of terror the moment they spot your mother’s pregnant belly. It's like they have all been to war and just have to tell us of their personal battlefields. Your mother is too nice and so sits there enduring the tales of tears and tears, the ripping and the dripping until I say “Stop! We don't want to hear those stories, thanks very much”. We have heard enough to be wary and worried but we cannot wait for you to get here.
I write that like you are in another country, about to be stork delivered down the chimney instead of right there millimetres below the surface of the belly I love most in all the world.
Oliver Driver mostly directs television, film and theatre but he also owns a bar, two dogs and a motorcycle. He has made many things in his life but this is his first attempt at making a child. He is pretty excited about it.