Cambridge Baby

10458474_1652096671683431_3105316910575184192_nAt the end of a grey rainy day at work, I arrived home to this lovely package in the post. No pressure or anything baby! It’s incredible to think that the little flutters in my tummy will one day emerge [with clouds of fairydust and a puff of glitter from the jaffa] and wear this! I remember on the day of my Cambridge interview [was that really 14years ago!] my parents went shopping and collected me with a gift of a top with a union jack heart and “Cambridge Babe” inscribed underneath. I wore it until it fell apart!

In fact, considering I’m going to an Archaeology Department centenary celebration/reunion on 28th February, just a few days before my due date … baby could indeed be a Cambridge baby …

… in the meantime, as my tummy grows, I consider what type of mum I’d like to be … what sort of environment I want to create for baby cupcake. It may sound a little “deep” for a Wednesday evening before the Bake Off final, but I found myself sitting at my desk contemplating my views on christenings. I was christened, and went to Sunday School at the local CofE church when I was little. In later years I dappled with Catholicism [3months living with the Poor Clares, countless years working with Missionary of Charity nuns in Calcutta]. Nowadays I live a life devoid of religious practice but [I hope] one following “Christian” values. I won’t be bringing my baby up with a religious doctrine, therefore I don’t think a christening would be a moral choice [even though it’s nice to dress up, have a party and get lots of presents!]. I’d like to take the approach of “some people believe in God, others don’t, and there are many different Gods in the world … what matters most is how we treat others and that we live according to our own moral compass …” I’ve said before that I’d like to take my child to Calcutta when they’re old enough to appreciate it; because it was in those dusty chaotic alleyways that I learned most about love and humanity … even if I never quite grasped the “God bit”. I think the people and scenarios from the dispensary, from Sealdah, from Kalighat … always prod at me that life is short, precious, to be lived, and appreciated. For every bad day we  have, every bored moment … there are people taking their last breath, people dying of treatable diseases, living a trapped educationless existence, hungry, thirsty …. I’d like my child to know that perspective, and to realise how lucky we are here in the UK …

I hope to be a liberal parent … one who listens and isn’t too precious to apologise when I’ve made a mistake. I’d like a dialogue with my child from a young age, an openness to encourage honesty and sharing. I don’t want to be the overpowering helicopter mother, yet I want to be there guarding and protecting the life now trampolining on my bladder.

I guess many of you are reading this and smiling …. the ideals of a mother-to-be, who has no real idea of the realities of motherhood. I hope this blog will chart the journey … and who knows, maybe one day baby cupcake will be reading this telling me where I went wrong!





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