Happy, crazy, funny, adventurous, unpredictable, daft as a brush, up for it. That’s my little boy Sonny, who turned one this week and has just given me the most ridiculously brilliant year of my life.
This time a year ago Gemma and I were a couple of days into parenthood, scared to death of the little human suddenly living in our house and wondering how two dummies like us could possibly raise a fully functioning kid. I’m sure it’s more by luck than anything else, but what we’ve ended up with 12 months later is a little dude so stupidly awesome that I feel like something’s missing from my life every second I’m not with him.
Sonny can’t walk, talk or even stand up straight yet, but the list of things he does to light up our lives every day is too long to write down here. For me, just the sight of that cheeky face is enough. He’s already cost us tens of thousands of pounds, stolen weeks worth of sleep from us, and put an end to my tragic amateur sporting career, plus any shred of a social life I was still clinging on to – but all that matters to me is that face.
And it’s the smallest, most stupid things that have made this the best year of my life. Yesterday Sonny learned how to drink through a straw, dribble the water back down his own chin, then laugh like a maniac while he did it. And I loved that. The day before I watched him climb a set of foam steps at the soft play centre completely unassisted, and it made my heart melt. Last night he wouldn’t stop farting while I was carrying him around the house while he cried like a madman before bed, and even though I was stressed to hell I couldn’t stop laughing. And this morning he looked in my eyes and chuckled when I did a pathetic impression of a roaring lion, and it sent me to work in in the best mood ever.
A few years ago, if someone had told me I’d be a happy dad who couldn’t wait to spend all of his time with a one-year-old baby, I’d have tried to get them sectioned. I’ve never been a kid person, and enough crappy stuff has happened to me in the past decade that at one stage in my life I lost all faith in everything to do with family. I was let down badly by the people closest to me, and the thought of doing the same to a child of my own scared the shit out of me. But now Sonny’s here, and I see what a five-star legend he is, I know I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to be the best dad I can possibly be to him, and that I’ll enjoy every single second of doing it.
When I look into the future and think about being there when he kicks a football for the first time, gets a girlfriend for the first time, climbs a mountain for the first time, buys me a pint for the first time (payback!), I realise how much having a kid has changed my life for the better. I was just meandering along before, perfectly happy with what I was doing, but with no real focus. Now that’s all changed, and completely for the better.
I don’t agree with all that ‘my life only started when I had kids’ bollocks that I hear from a lot of parents, because I did amazing things before Sonny was born that I could never do now he’s arrived, but now he is here I couldn’t imagine living another day of my life without him.
My advice would be (if anyone even reads the nonsense I write on this blog), if you’re unsure about having kids then just look at Sonny’s happy face in the photo at the top of this page. How could you not want one of them?