Seventeen years ago my somewhat humdrum, stick in the mud, sort of life became transformed, when, Tricia, my partner, to the accompaniment of 'The Beach Boys' singing 'Good Vibrations', gave birth to our son, George.
They were not actually in the room with us. The 'Beach Boys' I mean. No they had to stay in the corridor outside. Sorry. I am being silly. They were on the radio. Anyway, I remember thinking as I watched my son being born. Urrgghh...! Sorry again. I remember thinking that 'Good Vibrations was a great tune to be born to.
There was a lot of screaming and shoving going on in the labour room. But eventually the nursing staff, let me out.
Nine months earlier both Tricia and myself had been somewhat taken aback to find out that she was pregnant. We were in our mid to late forties at the time and to be honest we both thought that our child rearing days were well behind us.
We had of course been responsible adults, and taken sensible precautions against such an event happening. Well, I say we. I should perhaps say Tricia had taken precautions. Her main one being to keep me locked out of the bedroom. All I can think of by way of explaining her pregnancy, is the time we both got hungry in the middle of the night and met unexpectedly in the kitchen. Where she, in a moment of reckless abandonment, suddenly realised what she had been denying herself, and despite my vigorous protests, took advantage of my kind and generous nature. Several times.
It has been wonderful these last seventeen years, watching my extremely handsome son grow up. He started playing football at a very young age, and I have so enjoyed watching him play. He is good enough to have won lots of medals and trophies over the years. I have watched him win best player award at several football camps. One of my favourite football memories was watching him score a goal on the pitch at Goodison Park, home of Everton football club in Liverpool. A club of which George's great Grandfather on his Mothers side, was one of the founding members and which we staunchly support.
He also has a great interest in wildlife, flora and fauna, and we have enjoyed finding out lots of things together on our nature walks and wild camping trips. We both enjoy bushcraft. There is not much to beat building a basic shelter in the woods with your son, and cooking over a campfire.
These activities are becoming less as he builds new friendships and starts his journey into adulthood. This is probably just as well for me. I am getting older too. I am ready to lead a more sedate lifestyle. Not too sedate though. I am not ready to give up just yet. There is still a lot of life left in this old dog. But I am pleased that I have been able to be a hands on type of Dad. I know men younger than me who find Fatherhood exhausting.
George gave me a new lease of life. At forty six I think it is fair to say that a lot of men begin to think about taking things a bit easier. I began to live again. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to do so.
Although Tricia and I are no longer partners, we are still the very best of friends, there for one another, and still see each other every day. I will always be grateful to her for the gift of our son.
What's brought on all this introspection, you may be wondering? It was Fathers day. My son bought me Sunday lunch. It was delicious.
He also made a great sacrifice for me. At a time when he could have been out with his pals, he came and watched his Dad perform at the open mic night. It must have been hell for him. But he didn't flinch from it. Once again he made his old Dad proud.
Yes. It has been a wonderful seventeen years. Here's to the next seventeen. But I will not be visiting the kitchen in the wee small hours again. Cheers!