Eighteen years ago today, Theintrostealer emerged from his mother's abdomen by the highly unusual route also taken by his sister and became my favourite son. I took him out of the operating room and placed him on a table. He looked interested and involved. Unlike his sister, he didn't seem to expect an immediate nipple insertion. I lifted his bum and scooted a nappy underneath him for the first of several hundred times. I noticed he looked a lot more like his mother than his sister.
It's actually really good having a son as well as a daughter. Apart from the fact that his very existence is phenomenally marvellous, and I focus on him as an individual in his own right, it became impossible for me to maintain my externalised male-hating because how the heck could I possibly do anything other than totally love the fruit of my loins? The male fruit of my loins.
What else can I say about him? Well, I could write a book, obviously, and it still wouldn't begin to capture his essence. One thing I do wonder about him, though, is the extent to which he's eighteen. In a way, he could be a lot older than that.
At the age of nine, I thought that if I ever had a son, and at the time I imagined that child emerging from my own body rather than someone else's, I would call him by Theintrostealer's real name. Subject to approval by the other parent of course. Therefore, in a sense the child of that name already had the first brick of his essence in place. That brick could have been washed away by Sarada's disapproval or the absence of a Y chromosome in the relevant zygote, but as it happened, that bit survived and he did in fact get called by that name. All sorts of other things contributed to his existence, including a prodigious number of atoms which already existed somewhere out there in the Universe, although where they were is another question.
When he was born, his body was composed entirely of matter which had passed through Sarada's body. As soon as he took his first breath, that changed, but for many months afterward all of the matter composing his body, with the possible exception of a minute quantity of colostrum, had previously been part of Sarada. There is something very satisfying about that fact: he was "all her own work", as it were.
So that's it really. We no longer have children, except of course that we still have children. It's just that they are no longer officially minors. One might expect that to be celebrated by the consumption of certain gone off vegetable- or fruit-derived liquids by the said ex-minor, but in fact that didn't happen as he's not a fan of the sauce.
We are now theoretically at liberty to become little old shrivelled excrescences of our former selves, but in fact that won't be what happens because they still want us around. We aren't yet in our dotage. However, one remarkable thing about Sarada's and my relationship is that it hardly got off the ground before Sleepoversweet came along, so we don't in fact know what it's like for the two of us not to have children. We're about to find out.