The thing that scared me most about becoming a dad was that I’d become boring and stop doing all the stuff that made my life fun. Turns out the opposite is true – I’ve become a big kid and rediscovered so many things I’d forgotten I loved!
One of the weirdest things about growing up is that you don’t notice the fun starting to drain out of your life. Cartoons get replaced by serious movies; Lego blocks turn into DIY projects; playgroups morph into pubs; friends become colleagues… and so on, and so on.
I’ve made a real conscious effort as I’ve raced through my 20s and 30s to make sure I keep enjoying life and having as much fun as possible, whether that’s by playing sport, planning lots of outdoor adventures, spending lazy afternoons in my canoe, or taking random trips to the occasional theme park. But the one thing I never realised I’d lost until Sonny came charging into our lives was the ability to just enjoy every minute of being alive.
I sometimes look at this little dude, not even 11 months old but with the greatest zest for life I’ve ever known in any human being, and feel his enthusiasm smashing me in the face and screaming at me to start enjoying myself more. The way he stampedes across the room to greet people with hugs; the way he smiles and laughs at every new experience; the way he shrieks with excitement at the sight of a dog, bird or tree; the way crawling down a corridor or opening a drawer seem like the biggest achievements he could ever imagine – I can’t get enough of it.
And the best thing is I’m starting to feel that way too. I grab his chubby little cheeks and make monkey and lion noises at him the second I walk through the door after work; sing songs to him while we walk the dog together; splash in the bath with him; blow raspberries with him; throw food around the room with him; shout at pigeons with him; chase him up and down the stairs; jump in ball pits with him; slide down slides with him; play cars with him; go swimming with him; watch nursery rhymes with him – and I’m loving every single second of being a big kid again.
It makes me laugh now when I think back to how wary, and even cynical, I was about becoming a dad. Don’t get me wrong, I’m more tired than I’ve ever been. And I wish I had more time in every day. And more money! But I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun and looked forward to every day so much.
And that’s all thanks to a little bald baby. Thanks Sonny! Turns out you aren’t so bad after all.