Monday, 7th July 1958 – 10.10 pm
Edith is pregnant. I wish I knew what I ought to feel. Pride? Why? [intimate material omitted] Meanwhile, one is worried. One hopes mother and child will do fine, and has no reason to believe they won’t. But what of the boy’s future? (If it is a girl, all one asks is that it should possess good health, a fair intelligence and a happy disposition.) Will he be, as I was, deprived of a father’s invaluable helping hand, when he is ten – thirteen – fifteen – eighteen – twenty – one – five? (I am 46, and making all allowances for increased expectation of life, cannot exclude the possibility that I shan’t be there when he needs me.) Will I have the energy to train him, instruct him, drive him? Will he be a failure like me? I persuade myself that with only reasonable luck he should be able at least to make University Lecturer grade. But who can tell? Edith wants to know whether she owes me for the laundrette. It is a blessing to have her extrovert, uncomplicated, nature as an antidote to my priggish self-importance.
Anyway, son(s) and/or daughter(s) – should you read this : –
1) Fay bien, crain rien
I can’t think of anything else to exhort you; your mother has placed her arms around my neck which has made concentration rather difficult. I shall have to leave this whole theme of self-reproduction to the holidays, I think.