Saturday, November 19, 2016


Family Man (You may say I'm a dreamer - Chapter 9 part 4)
Getting to be a handful! We're in New Plymouth
for Samantha's baptism. The boys look cool while
Fanfa gives controversial rock on salute!

During our 1988 August holidays, as we drove along the National Park road from Taupo to Mt. Ruapehu nudged just behind Roger and Deirdre Marbeck's car, both of us part of a long trail of cars, with Adam and Keegan in the back seat, Jacky and I had time for a lengthy and deep conversation.

Samantha Mary Purdy owes her existence to that conversation.

We had just shared a holiday in Taupo at dad's holiday home with the Marbecks and we were all now on our way to see the snow.

SMP: obstreperous!
As we drove, I told Jacky about my thoughts concerning reliving my father's life - two sons, two years apart. And I wondered aloud about trying for a third, a daughter maybe. What about that?

Jacky was adamant (no pun intended) that two was enough and Adam was going to be our last. Both births were pretty fresh in her memory and she'd been at home now for four years looking after the boys while I worked at Macleans College. As we drove along we continued to talk and Jacky started softening her stance and, eventually, agreed that it was actually a pretty cool idea.

SMP with her Godparents:
Greg and Liz Lester.
We returned home to Dornwell Road, Three Kings, and had only just told our friends and family of our decision (to a generally damp set of reactions it must be said), when Jacky found she was 'with child' for the third time. We were both delighted and excited and a little pissed off that no one else seemed to share our joy. Oh well. We were off on another chapter of our great married adventure.

Our initial planning aimed at an August birth during the school holidays. Ha ha ha! The speed of conception meant that the new baby was due around the May holidays of 1989 instead.

As the pregnancy continued we were both convinced that another boy was coming, and we wanted a name early this time. We decided on Ethan William Purdy, the second name for my great grandfather. We didn't waste any time thinking about a girl's name. No point - there hadn't been a female baby in our Purdy line for about five generations (plus Michelle had two sons, as did Ross).

Who says Patrick doesn't get children?
He's a natural!
For a second time, we headed into National Women's on May 15 for our third child's birth. At 2.59 the next morning we had a really huge surprise! It's a girl!!

And we had no name for her! For a week we tried out dozens of names for 'baby Purdy'. We couldn't agree. I liked Charlotte or Claire but Jacky didn't. She liked names that I didn't think were right. We argued our cases but all suggestions were vetoed.

Visiting Grandad Brian in
New Plymouth.
I was particularly keen for either a three or one syllable name. We had Kee-gan and Ad-am. I wanted something different this time. And maybe a name that could be shortened.

Finally, we agreed on Samantha and Mary for a second name - that bit was easy peasy, being both of our mothers' middle names.

Keegan arrived at 7.21pm, Adam at 10.28am - both pretty reasonable times. Trust Samantha to be awkward and arrive in the pitch dark, three weeks early, on a terrible rainy morning.

Although she looked like a little angel, the manner of her arrival set the pattern for the coming loooong months - obstreperous being the kindest and most appropriate adjective that I can think of for her. In case you were wondering, it means noisy and difficult to control!

Note the prep for the
coming distribution of food.

Everything wound up on
the floor, so, bring the
floor to her! 
For the next 14 months (Fourteen. Months.) Samantha refused point blank to sleep through the night, take food or liquids normally, or in any way follow Keegan's example as a baby. 

Adam had been a slightly harder baby than Keegan but neither had prepared us for Samantha, the game changer.

Three children meant work. Plain and simple - little romance of any variety - just endless sleepless nights, a daily grind of dirty nappies, noise, children's squabbles, and stress!

Circumstances dictated this to some extent. Our Dornwell Road house had a very cold third bedroom, so we were forced, in those early winter months of Samantha's life, to keep her in our room. We paid the price, Oh boy, did we!

In the midst of this 14 months of hell, the start of 1990 coincided with our decision to move to Nelson for my career. We have never lived boring lives!

Although I loved Macleans, I was starting to love it too much, and the road to promotion wasn't looking possible, so, after a phone interview, I was given an assistant Head of English job at Waimea College.

Our family of five was on the move! Forward! To the South Island!

Jacky and I flew down to see the school and buy a house. It's okay - we had given ourselves a long weekend. No sweat! 

On our third day there, I found our new house in the window of a realty company in Richmond and we bought it. Simple!

I loved our Lord Auckland Road house. It had bags of room for the five of us, a great outlook on farm land and a ridge of pine trees, and a log cabin feel. Awesome!

Even better, thanks to Jacky, we met a young couple like us - Stephanie and Duncan Borlase, in a street close by and the Sivak family moved in next door. The Borlases became our new Marbecks - a family we did loads of things with. Their two children, Teri and Steve, grew up with ours. 

The Sivaks came from Warren County, Pennsylvania, and Annette was my first appointment as HOD English at Waimean College. Their three children were super talented and great fun. Keegan and Luke were similar ages and they hit it off big time.

Soon 1991 rolled around and Jacky had some more news for me...

Love and peace - Abu Keegan, Abu Adam, Abu Samantha

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