Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy Birthday, John!

John at 18 months
Baby John

Today 35 years ago our first son, John was born. He arrived peacefully in a small hospital in an equally small farming town, called Greytown. He weighed 9lbs 5oz / 4.3kg. I was 21 years old and my husband was 23; we were somewhat overawed by this new life with which we’d been entrusted.
In the seventies the South African male was not a hands-on father like present-day fathers. I had to deal with the care of the baby. However, my husband enjoyed taking our son out into to the garden to show him the birds or to play with the dogs. Or he'd take him into the garage in his pushchair; John would watch intently as his father worked at his workbench or tinkered on his motorbike. It was natural that he should grow up enjoying all things mechanical and loving motorbikes. As soon as he could walk, we bought him a plastic scooter which was produced by a large petrol company and sold at garages. He'd get onto it and with his little legs going like pistons, careen around the patio.
We also took John camping from a very young age. It's a known fact that if you do things - even chores - with your children, (instead of plonking them in front of the telly so that you can get on with whatever you're doing) they learn skills, are observant and of course, helpful! Above all, a child who feels wanted by his parents, becomes an emotionally healthy adult. Today John is very capable with his hands and he and his young family loves camping and hiking. He still loves motorbikes; both he and his wife have off-road machines which they enjoy riding in the bush. He is also a very confident, eloquent young man.
My husband sat John on his motorbike from a young age
(just to pose for the photo, not to ride!)
Because John's father spent quality time with him as a lad,
John does the same with his young son

As a teenager, John never gave us as parents any problems. We lived in Namibia at this stage, so he boarded with my parents in South Africa 1800km/ 1125miles from us. He is the oldest grandson and was loved dearly by both sets of grandparents. Today he still has a grandmother (my mother-in-law) who still thinks the world of him.
Three generations of Hedges men
After completing his tertiary education, John joined the merchant navy and spent 16 years at sea.(you can read about this here) On one of his leaves on shore in Durban, Kwa- Zulu Natal, he met the girl of his dreams.

John and Debbie have been married for nine years; they have a 5 ½ year- old-daughter, and a son of 2 1/2 years. They are expecting a third baby in March. Both my son and daughter-in-law are devout Christians and are currently doing a discipleship course.

John, 35, with his father, hi wife, Debbie and their two children

I thank God for a wonderful son like John who, today, is a devoted husband, loving father and a faithful child of God.


  1. Jo, I'm sorry I'm so late in wishing you & your family & of course all your 4-legged family members too, a WONDERFUL and HAPPY, JOYOUS 2009 .... may it be one of your best ever ! Happy birthday to John too :)

  2. Thanks Lynda and Happy New Year to you as well. I have been totally confused with the rush of visitors and happenings over the holidays. I'm not sure whether I've replied to you mails. Please forgive me I'll get to it soon. Hugs Jo PS See tomorrow's post...


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