Occasions like these, of course, are about so much more than just the child. It inevitably involves multiple generations coming together. There’s a feeling of being rooted into something that pervades the atmosphere, a quiet dignity that takes all of the strands of all the members that are busy with all their individual things and binds it all down in a feeling of belonging.
It’s about character, values, traditions and friendships enduring over time. It’s written in the baptism dress that has now seen multiple generations of use. In the tea set that was already a grandmother’s wedding trousseau. It’s written on the softness of grandpa’s face when he looks into the eyes of the guest of honour.
It beats back the cold of a rainy Cape winter’s afternoon with the warmth of friendship, family, macarons, carrot cake, and lots of tea and laughter.
As a kind of postscript to the above: what would any decent family gathering be without a visit to the emergency room? Not wanting to be upstaged by his sister, Jan-Willem conveniently arranged for his elbow joint to be dislocated while playing, causing an interruption to affairs and earning himself an emergency room hero certificate!