The Celebration Written By Wendy Bryce
The birth, the rituals, and the naming ceremony were behind them; now it was time for
the family celebration, which was really something. The food, to begin with, was fit for
royalty. The hall was decorated gaily. The aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and close
family poured through the open doors, and all were here for one purpose. They had
come to pay homage to the new arrival. The parents might well have been the only two
on the planet to have ever given birth, for their little creation was truly the most
beautiful little boy to have entered the world.
Thirty-one cousins giggled and jostled to get a first hand view of the little treasure.
Then the food was devoured. The speeches, the blessings and the giving of gifts began.
A microphone had been set up, for the adults only to speak in to, and one by one they
made their way to it.
Uncle Abdoul offered the infant his fountain pen. “May your hands grow strong, and
your ability to drop ink from this pen never be diminished.” he stated seriously.
Everyone assumed that the baby boy would follow in the footsteps of his illustrious
daddy, and become a writer and a poet.
Aunty Miryam, offered a brand new journal. “Always write your thoughts.” she added with great solemnity,
looking directly at the now peacefully sleeping child. “If you don’t record them, they
will fly far away from you, and they will never return.”
An older cousin, who was himself a poet, brought his favourite pair of shoes. He drew
close to the microphone. “If you are to walk in the footsteps of giants,” he stated, “You
will need a good pair of shoes.”
One by one, they presented their gifts, which were all of a literary and prophetic nature.
Mama and daddy looked very unsure of themselves. How do you raise a bard? Surely the
child must also possess some natural inclination?
When the tributes appeared to have come to an end, and the room had quietened, an
elderly, frail looking man made his way to the microphone. His voice was not strong,
but he stood as tall as he was able, cleared his throat, and spoke. “My heartfelt good
wishes for this child,” he began. “I offer many prayers for his health and well-being. I
have no pen, nor book, nor poem to offer him. All I have are these two arms,” and
he stretched them out. “to hold him. And these two hands to stroke his lovely head. I
don’t know what he will be when he grows up – I only know that he will always be my
The room was silent.
Daddy rose from his seat, and carrying his precious son, he walked to his father. He placed the baby in his arms. He kissed his father gently on the forehead. Then he
wrapped his arms around both of them and said, “And I will cradle you both – always.”
© Wendy Bryce