So, the decision was made to move to the Sage’s family home. This would have been in the middle of September, 1983 – I know that we were on holiday over my birthday, as he bought me a gold necklace in Jersey (no VAT, good move). It could well have been 17th September when we had that momentous conversation over our sandwiches and glass of wine. A week later, we had another conversation, even more momentous and this one was initiated by my husband.
I should just set the scene a bit first. I was 19 when we married, 20 when our daughter was born and, two years almost to the day later, I had a baby son. And this was so wonderful, my children were so precious, that I wanted the experience again. When Al was about two years old, I said to the Sage that, if we were thinking about having a third, maybe this was about the right gap? He didn’t answer.
This sounds unfriendly but isn’t really. One just has to understand his way of thinking. He hates an argument and he can’t bear to say no to me. So he avoids a situation he doesn’t want to deal with. So I left him to think about it. And, in the intervening five years, I didn’t raise the subject again. It didn’t go away, for me, but I knew this had to be a whole-heartedly two-way decision and I wasn’t going to put him under pressure by telling him how strongly I felt.
Back to 24th September 1983. In bed. “Would you like?” asked the Sage, “to have another baby? New beginnings and all that?” No need to consider, important decisions are the easy ones to make. “Yes. However,” I added, “I don’t want another April baby. Another April birthday will be too expensive. And not around Christmas either. Um, July next year is the earliest we could manage it, let’s give it from now until February (which would make it early November) and if I’m not pregnant then, hold you hard* until August or so.”
I may not be organised, but I am efficient and practical.
Anyway, the next morning (excuse me, squeamish/male/celibate people) I didn’t take a pill. A week later, when if I was going to, I should, I asked if he was sure. He said he was, so we started to work quite hard on modelling the perfect baby. Needs quite a bit of practice, doesn’t it.
We didn’t take all that long however; I said I am efficient and so is he; and our third child was born on 24th July 1984.
*This is not some deviant form of birth control, just a bit of Norfolk-speak