On the 20th April 2012 at 7.01am I became a dad. Let me take you back to that incredible moment…
There was some decorous pushing, I mopped a glistening forehead, there may even have been a bit of noise. Bright lights, some green drapes in a perfectly scrubbed hospital and suddenly the miracle occurred; my perfectly formed pink son was handed to me. I was in tears, my wife was in tears but through it all we smiled showing off our perfect white teeth and the delivery room staff applauded…
~~~and fade out~~~
No hang on, that was in a film I saw somewhere, or it might have been on Friends. Giving birth was a bit more agricultural and infinitely better than that. Imagine every emotion turned up to 10, then turn them up to 11 and you’re getting close.
Everything else I’ve achieved in my life has been distinguished by at least a bit of training, and then getting some kind of proof that I had reached a standard: A certificate, a licence, even a rather fetching hat. None of these will you receive when you become a dad, not even a gold star on a chart somewhere. Training is at best rudimentary, you have little choice in whether you actually become a dad (apart from when you start the application process), and failure to live up to your new job can be catastrophic.
At 6.59am I was a son and husband, still a little boy to my mum and romantic super-lover to my wife (honest). By 7.02am I was a Dad. Yes, I was still a son and husband, but everyone knew I was, and expected me to be, a Dad. A new life of responsibility beckons- to provide for, guide, teach and love a little human being who will completely depend on his mum and me for at least the next 16 years.
Fatherhood is massive. Really gigantically enormously massive. But brilliant. After nine months of waiting, three days of birthing and ten minutes of blind terror it’s finally here, and I want to tell you what it’s like for me.