Both Claire and I were overwhelmed by the reactions of our friends and family to Leo’s arrival. We genuinely had no idea that there were so many people who would be interested. We thought we might get a few cards, maybe a gift or two, but we were showered with flowers, cards (60 and counting) and an incredible number of gifts.
First flooded in the texts and voicemails – all of whom pleased and amazed at baby weight and claire’s delivery – the lack of epi and the speed! We heard later a number of people burst into tears on hearing the news – many of them in restaurants at the time!
The cards started Tuesday 3rd – Lynda’s friend Pam had gone into Grantham first thing Monday morning, and posted a card from the sorting office to make sure it arrived quick. Whenever we though they’d peaked, we got more! It was amazing to receive so many.
The first flowers arrived from Gabby and Richard on the Tuesday evening – the florist having driven through the freak monsoon to get them here. We soon had a houseful – the smell of lilies was too much at times!
Baby clothes were brought, including lots of shoes – maybe people think Leo will take after his mum? There have been a couple of days when he has worn only lent and gifted clothes! Lots of little cuddly things – a couple of lions and leopard that Claire has named Leonard – and he seems to be quite a posh, lord-y type.
And still the cards kept coming. We had one from Susie and Shaun that they’d taken on their honeymoon to Canada to post from there.
What with all the sleeplessness and confusion, the cards all started to blur. The challenge became to find shelf-space for them. I still feel humbled by it.
We also had a steady stream of visitors. It was very hard – we wanted time to ourselves to learn about being a family, but also wanted visitors. Partly, base motives, to show him off – we are so proud! – but also because people really wanted to come and see him. We had to be quite strict, and even now at time of writing (22 August) we haven’t had everyone over. But we found that with more than one or two people a day, Leo became quite overstimulated and fractious, and we didn’t have the time to sleep during the day. Also, we wanted to make sure that we actually talked to people – sometimes the fatigue was such that i could have been listening to the Romanian radio. Maybe at times i was.
I feel as if we have no way of repaying the kindness people have shown to us – it feels all too much to be regarded with affection by so many people.