Exactly five years ago, I was blinking into the daze of fresh parenthood, about half a day in. After forty two weeks and about two and a half days of resisting every reasonable coercion and encouragement, my first child cried into the ten thirty of a Saturday morning.
Half dream dozing, half elated, the three of us descended from the heady heights of the labour ward, situated high above the accompanying sprawl of a time served maternity hospital winding down to closure around forty years.
I stayed as long as I was allowed, and return home to Facebook the world, supping ham hough lentil soup and Scapa 16.
I think I knew I didn’t know what I was letting myself in for; but I didn’t know what I was letting myself in for.
Five years on, and after midnight present wrapping the helpless babe I cradled all those years ago after a day of presents, cake, cards and happy birthday singing. Not to mention primary school.
Where the time goes, I can’t tell you. What it brings – a truly independent human being, who cannot help but challenge, frustrate, affirm and reward me; who’s unswerving sense of himself staggers me on a daily basis; who’s innocent faith in the human beings around him humbles me to my core; who’s potential and fragility perplexes and amazes me.
Tonight, I’m supping a slight measure of Bushmills, acquired to toast the Emerald Isle’s great loss a couple of weeks back. Tomorrow, The Great Party will happen.
Five years time? Who knows where it will take us. But with a bit of luck, and some of something more tangible I can figure what I’ll bring to them.