A few hours later, Dylan arrived and life hasn’t been much quieter since.
I have three sons. Daniel and Michael came almost a year apart; they are in their mid teens. When I see photos of them as toddlers it seems like it was both yesterday and an age ago. Everyone tells you how quickly they grow up, but at the time it doesn’t feel that way. Because when you’re living it, your head is full to bursting with nappies and parties and school and holidays and clothes and jabs and swimming lessons and stupid bloody SATs tests...
So I wonder sometimes, why it is that I’ve so loved going through it all again?
Perhaps I’m more relaxed this time round. Maybe it is that the older boys are almost self-sufficient now – or that it feels easy looking after one in comparison to two? We’re better off as well; we can get someone to decorate instead of trying to entertain the kids while balancing on a ladder. Or is it simply that Dylan sleeps through the night?
You know, I don’t think it is any of these things. The fact is I loved it the first time too. I might have been knackered but not so much that I didn’t appreciate the singular joy of parenthood. My delight in Dylan is simply that I have a second go at what I thought was a once in a lifetime experience.
I will feel bereft when the ‘big boys’ leave, as they must and will. But at least when that happens, and when I flick through the old photos, I’ll know it isn’t quite over. I’ll have Dylan to remind me, and to hold onto, for a precious few more years.
Happy birthday Dylan – six and counting, slowly.