Well, how has this happened, eh? My oldest child is 10 years old already. It has been an entire decade since that surreal sleepless night in which he entered our lives.
His arrival followed an on-and-off, three-day labour which felt like forever at the time – particularly for my brilliant wife. But the subsequent 10 years have absolutely flown by.
But so much has happened in that time. We’ve had two more children, adopted a cat – who has turned out to be my nemesis – and moved house after seven years of trying.
I’ve gone through five jobs in that time too, including making a full-time living out of this blog for five years. Against this hectic backdrop, he’s grown from a baby to a pre-teen – or tween – in what feels like hardly any time at all.
As he has got older and slightly more self-conscious, he’s featured less on here than before. But he’s not going to get away with it today!
I’m so proud of the kid he has grown up to be. He’s kind, clever, funny and not afraid to be himself.
Having two younger siblings, he still has a youthful outlook on things and long may it continue. Society has changed a lot since I was his age and I think that, as a result, children are forced to grow up faster.
Of course, there’s a balance to be struck and I know he’ll achieve that. He’ll juggle the pre-teen years and beyond with aplomb and a sense of youthful enthusiasm firmly intact.
I’ve been really impressed with him – and his siblings too, of course – during lockdown. Despite being denied a sizeable chunk of time with his peers, he has taken things in his stride.
He has continued to work hard and is much more open to trying new things. Including football. He used to have a take-it-or-leave-it attitude, but it’s now very much among his interests.
So much so that he likes being in goal AND watched the entire 90 minutes of Tottenham’s latest poor performance with me.
Allowing others to whack the ball at you and watching your team succumb to another defeat demonstrate real dedication. It shows that he isn’t a glory hunter too and I really admire that.
So, 10 years old already. Our little lad isn’t so little anymore, figuratively and literally – he’s up to my collarbone now and, when I’m between the sticks, he nearly puts me in the net with the ball!
The last decade, although exhausting and incredibly fleeting, has been an absolute privilege and I’m looking forward to many more.
Happy Birthday, young man!