Today is senior godson J's 13th birthday. Golly. He's almost old.
He's not the first person I've known from infancy, though I think most of the others are family members. He's not the first child born to friends of my generation. He is however the first who simply didn't exist for quite a few years of my adulthood, while I knew his parents, and then appeared on the scene, and stayed in such frequent touch that I've never really noticed him growing. He went through a phase of having curly hair: otherwise, my memory assures me, he's pretty well unchanged from the little 7-day old scrap that I first held in my arms who opened his eyes long enough to assess his chances of getting a drink off me and went back to sleep again.
Except that of course he has changed. I haven't noticed his dad carry him around for ages.
I was there when he had his first ice cream – a choc ice at Millets Farm. Or maybe the choc ice had him. One of them ended up inside the other but it was hard to say which on the basis of a visual inspection. I've helped change some fairly horrible nappies (my role being to hold him down. No nappy contact took place. I checked the godparent's vows very carefully: big on renouncing the devil, very light indeed on coming into contact with nappies). I helped pay for his first bike.
Technically a godparent's role ends when the child gets confirmed. I haven't asked if this is his intention. Even so ... 13. A few more years and he's officially Grown Up. I hope we stay in touch.
One thing at least he can say for my godparenthood. When he recently did a review of His Majesty's Starship in class, I bet none of the other kids was reviewing a book dedicated to them.