It’s true what they say…the days can sometimes seem to drag when you have a dependent baby to care for, entertain, nurture; but by heck, the weeks and months fair fly past! And so it is now, we find ourselves a mere one week off Grace’s eighth month of existence. 36 weeks. 252 days. And as most of you will be able to testify to, 1000+ photographs.
Some people ask….not necessarily of me, but definitely of the wider social media scene; I wonder how Grace will feel when she’s older, with all her baby photos on public display? A fair question. This blog is as much for Grace than anything else, and as she gets older and I take her through her earlier life, I hope she’ll be happy for me to continue to report her progress and hopefully start contribute her own thoughts. But if she isn’t happy in any way, the pictures will come down and that wil be that.
However, this is partly to judge perceptions of privacy on our own views of when we were young and we all pretty much kept ourselves to ourselves…or at least to a small band of close friends and relations. Certainly, we would be unable to even comprehend sharing our activities, opinions, thoughts and views with an audience of several hundred people or more each day. Cameras with expensive film cartridges of 24 photos meant that photos of you doing stupid things were rare. At worst, the picture your mate took of you drunk with a traffic cone on your head….or worse, would be seen by a couple of your other close mates. A week or two later. Not that very evening. Not by you parents. Fiancé. Employer. Future employer.
Social media now means that an awful lot of the current generation are growing up in the full, unrelenting and unforgiving glare of the world at large. The genie is out of the bottle on that one I fear, and there’s no going back, whatever we may think or wish. Just as not being in debt was once a good thing and now not having a credit rating is viewed with suspicion, the time is surely close when not having a public profile will be regarded by people as something to be wary of. The challenge for today’s generation then must be to own and to manage their presence in this new virtual reality and our job as parents needs to be to understand this new world our children are growing up in, to protect as appropriate…to educate our children to be able to protect themselves and their identity…and to teach them that how they are seen, and how they act on social media is something that matters.
Annnnnnyway….no one comes here for my rambling views and serious pontifications, so back to the task at hand. This week I departed my comfort zone to enter into the world of Rag Dolly Anna. A cult of music, song and play where the parents sing, clap, and make a din with assorted instruments in the hope that the little ones will be kept quiet for an hour. Although, of course, when I say quiet, I clearly mean over 100 decibels of anti-quiet. Grace already recognises a number of songs, and enjoys being sung to, but she isn’t quite at the stage of joining in. For now she’s happy to eat the bells, or suck on the maracas and be shaken in time to the music by daddy every now and again, so he at least can be seen to be adding to the overall “melody” in the room.
Singing is clearly a skill I do not possess, and in twelve years I’m not sure I’ve heard Nicole sing once, so I’m not holding out much hope for Grace as a singer…except as maybe one of those no-hoper sorts that the X factor likes us to laugh at. It did get me wondering what traits I have succeeded in passing down however. I got as far as an exuberant fondness for all types of food, and a desire to get our hands on electronic gadgets. Admittedly it has to be noted that Grace has actually combined these two traits into one. To be honest, not sure I have many more things to hand down….or at least many things worth Grace having! I am sure however that what we do have to give Grace in spades….love, care, patience, love, support, love… will enable her to pick up whatever whe wants to pick up in her own good time, and eventually be able to pass on herself one day.