Dressed in rumpled jeans and a monster faced hoodie pulled up over his light brown locks of hair, my son came bounding into the kitchen this morning sending poor Oz, our dog, scampering for cover.
His eyes were beaming, sharing that huge big smile which spreads across the face, the one that melts your heart every time.
With all the excitement a two-and-a-half-year-old can muster, he shouted: “These are for you daddy, these are for you daddy, these are for you daddy …” as he thrust his tiny hands towards me.
In one a card, scrawled with crayon that he proudly explained was a picture of me. The other a pen in a stand with the word ‘daddy’ written underneath, and another picture laminated for keeping in my wallet.
Touching on their own sentimental right. But not as much as the huge son hug that followed afterwards, nor his sweet, faltering attempts at wishing me a ‘Happy Fadders, erm, erm, day, Daddy.’
Bless him, he’d been practicing for days.
There are many emotions in a moment like that. Love, pride, laughter. It’s a heady cocktail of goodness that overwhelms the spirit, is good for the soul. And ultimately one that, should make you a better person.
I had no clue, not a bit of it, just how having a son would change me far alone the way it would influence my life. Priorities move seismically. Your day to day doesn’t matter. It’s theirs that is all important, not yours.
And it’s happening so fast. Last year he was too young for Father’s Day, really. And for all the 15 minutes it was his centre of attention today before Thomas trumped the old man, it’s still amazing to contemplate.
A week ago his cot came down and was replaced by his first proper bed. He can count up to 12. He can sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. He can open the fringe to get milk (and smash eggs). He can now say hello and thank you in French.
But today serves as a timely reminder as to why I got involved in the Two Fat Laddies project with Iain – who’ll be treated to some tlc from his own smashing kids today I’m sure – in the first place.
To make sure we have many more to spend together. To ensure that, if he ever goes on to have his own kids, that I might get to share in his joy too. I tried to explain it once before, in this Lettert to Joshua blog on his first birthday.
The sentiment remains the same, and it has helped get me motivated again after my recent lay off from the exercise.
During the week I clocked up my first 5k in ages. It was tougher than I’d expected but I felt great afterwards. My plan is to head out again later today.
I followed it up with getting back to the boxing at Lochend ABC yesterday.
Terry and the gang were as welcoming as usual, the place is on a real high just now having a new champion in their midst and the Olympics to look forward too, and it was brilliant to work up an honest sweat.
A couple of new faces were there too for the first time, and they got really stuck in. They may feel a few aches and pains today from their exertions, but they should be rightly proud of themselves.
Terry summed it up beautifully afterwards, explaining that to be successful and get fit, and to do the best you can, you have to make sacrifices, enjoy it, work hard at it and most of all, make it central to your life.
In many ways, not unlike what it takes to be a dad.