Seething since 2000*
Lieve, the day we found out that you were here, and on your way, it was a hot summer day in December. Kathleen and I were in Sydney, Australia, staying in a little old surfer’s apartment at Clovelly. It was warm and probably windy that day. It was certainly sunny, and the sky was like porcelain, no clouds. At around midday Kathleen went out for a walk while I did some work on my computer, a part of my deal for being in Australia instead of Stockholm, experiencing a summer which was winter there. When Kathleen came home she disappeared into the bathroom. After a few minutes she called my name. Davey! She may in fact have also made a kind of a-ha noise just before that but I can’t be sure. You’ll have to ask your mother that. She came out of the bathroom and thrust a white plastic pregnancy test towards me. I looked at the tube: it showed a definitely positive reading. And that reading was you. I remember Kathleen lying down on the blue-and white bedspread and sleeping for two—for you.
Lieve, the day you were born was also warm, a long summer day in August. We were back in Stockholm, living in a ground-floor apartment in Svedmyra, out in the suburbs. It had been hot all summer long. I had ridden my bike to work every day, feeling a sudden surge of energy at the idea of your impending arrival, thinking also that there might be no time for riding bikes or sitting in parks or going for walks, like your mother and I did that summer before you arrived. As it turned out, our walks didn’t stop, and almost as if by magic you were with us. But I’m getting ahead of myself. The day you were born was a very hot day indeed. It was also a Sunday. We had been expecting you to arrive a week later, on the first anniversary of our wedding. But that Sunday morning, at around 10am, Kathleen called out my name once again, this time from the kitchen. I came in from the lounge room and saw a small pool of water at your feet. Eight hours later you were there for real.