Being Johnpa

Throughout our lives we are different things to different people.  In my life so far, I have been or am a son, brother, father, husband, partner, lover, nephew, cousin, friend and many more beside.  Some I have chosen, some have been by dint of circumstance, or birth.

Four plus years ago, shortly before I met Sally, she became a grandmother, Idris was born.  She became not a grandma, but Sallyma.

It was I suppose inevitable that several months later, I would become Johnpa to her Sallyma.  I liked the title.

Lucy was born the day after my birthday and I was and still am deeply touched to have been a part of the day; we went over to see Amy, Dave and the newly born Lucy a few hours after the event.  I had the unexpected pleasure of being asked to hold Lucy while Amy was, how should I put this diplomatically, throwing up; sod diplomacy.

For twenty minutes I sat there holding a baby, hours old.  It brought back memories of a date fourteen years earlier.  The tears appeared.  I have not and will I hope never forget that moment.  A privilege.  Since that day I have been fortunate to have watched Lucy grow, to be part of her life.

Three years later, more or less to the day, we had the call, Amy was about to give birth.  We arrived in York and immediately Sally was whisked away to the birthing pool.  Lucy and I occupied ourselves, watching CeeBeeBies and walking in the rain, until Matthew put in an appearance.

I can’t recall how old he was before I held him, an hour old maybe.  Tears again.  Soppy old git.  It is now just over six months later and I have held him many times, still get the tears, though now they are discrete.

A Johnpa is an honorary member of a select band of lucky men, Edward (Taid) Andrew (Grandad) Roger (Granpaswimming).  Men who have a genetic bond, a blood tie.  A Johnpa has a bond of deep affection.

My head is full of ideas for making things for them.  Games to play.  Places to visit. Tales to tell.  Adventures to share.  Dragons to fight.  Cakes to bake.  Fish to catch, yes, fish to catch you unbelievers.

So what is a Johnpa?  Well, he is a very lucky man. A man who has an unexpected hug from Idris, a request from Lucy to hold her hand and several smiles from Matthew, all on the same day.  Pure joy.

Johnpa is happy. Johnpa is very happy.  Lucky Johnpa.

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