My grandbaby Felix is of mixed Scottish and Chinese heritage and has features from both parents. By 5 months, his lovely blue eyes turned hazel, with a dark blue border and they are unusual and beautiful. He chortles with laughter, chokes himself by stuffing both fists into his mouth, and is an all-round treasure. Some say Felix looks more like his mother, but his father lays claim to his pasty skin! It doesn’t really matter who he resembles, he’s very special to us.
Last weekend two sets of grandparents visited Felix and his parents. Grandparents Lindsay and Andrew are visiting from the UK for 2 weeks and my husband and I timed our semi-monthly visits to catch up with everyone. I’m very thankful for the time together with laughs, long walks and picnics in wonderful weather, and most of all, grateful for loving relationships. We found Scottish and Chinese attitudes to life have lots in common!
While Felix is my first grandchild, Lindsay and Andrew have 5 other grandchildren yet they are no less thrilled with the little fellow. Lindsay tells me that each grandchild is different. She had two kiddies living near her, but the others are thousands of miles away. Many grandparents are in a similar situation and that’s a subject for another post.
Today the story of a son and father’s resemblance made headlines across the world. For 60 years, Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, thought his father was Gavin Welby, a Jew who fled Germany then kept that heritage a secret. Lately, DNA testing proved the Archbishop’s biological father was in fact an English war hero and secretary to Winston Churchill.
Three things strike me most …
(1) Welby had a grim childhood. His parents, both alcoholics, divorced when he was two. One of his schoolmates at Eton said he was “the most unhappy boy you could imagine”. At home with his father in a rented flat he was sometimes hungry and lonely – only with his grandmother was there a sense of security and love (and I’m speculating, she probably helped with his school fees).
(2) Despite his adversity, Welby’s statements about his childhood relationships has not a shred of self-pity. Instead he says his mother’s story is one of redemption and hope. He acknowledges his mother’s public service, and her wonderful role in his life and that of his children when she recovered from alcoholism.
(3) Welby’s equanimity is remarkable. He believes that his identity is not found in genetics but places his confidence in a divine father who does not change.
Welby may well have a number of personal flaws, but you and I did not see them today.
This is such an uncertain world. We may not know what the future holds, but I do want to share Welby’s outlook on life.
And I do know that Felix is very blessed. Whether or not there is much of a resemblance, his father and mother love him deeply; indeed the whole extended family treasure him. Numerous aunties and cousins, grand aunties and grand uncles can’t wait to meet him and squidge his chubby cheeks. For that I am deeply grateful.
Sweet dreams grandbaby,