12 weeks ago, Freddie was born.
Sometimes it catches me strangley when someone else says my baby’s name; ‘Freddie’. I’m not sure why. There’s a millisecond where it’s as if I am caught in an impalpable web of that name; it catches me all over in gauzy, gluey wisps. And then it’s gone. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because the name denotes a person who is not here – and not as in ‘left the room’, but not here – never will be here in this world. Will never wear nappies or the beautiful, soft cotton sleep suits that we have heaps of in a drawer upstairs, will never win awards at school, or talk to his own children about the birds, the bees and everything else that daddies talk to their children about.
But I’m glad that people say his name. I’m touched when people refer to a person they never met, and know that they will never meet, by his beautiful name, that we chose so carefully, and which belonged to his grandfather first. I’m glad because every time someone says his name, it acknowledges the fact that he was a real baby. I’m glad because his name will not be used on school registers or signed in cards, it will not appear on a driver’s license or magazine subscriptions. So I’m glad for it be used in whatever way comes, because he was our baby, and he had a name.