It’s my birthday today, a fact I was reminded of early this morning when Isaac and Toby came running into our bedroom, jumped on to the bed, threw some cards at me and started singing Happy Birthday excitedly as if they were auditioning for The X-Factor. (Toby was quietly practising it in bed last night, which cracked me up.)
Meh. It’s not that I dislike birthdays – I’m just apathetic about them. It’s not a big deal any more, and hasn’t been for years. It’s the thought that counts more than the presents and in truth, while I was delighted to share in the boys’ joy at cards, singing and – most importantly for them – cake and candles, I am far more excited about the fact that tomorrow is Isaac’s first day at school.
Having said all that, it’s been quite an eventful 12 months since my last birthday, so here are just a few of the many things which have happened or changed in my life over the past year:
1. I’ve gone from being a father of two to becoming a father of three, all under the age of five. I’m sure I’ve broken a golden rule there somewhere. It’s official: my life is now an episode of Outnumbered. I can’t believe how difficult I thought life was when we only had one!
2. Through the eyes of the boys in particular, over the last year I have found myself falling back in love with Christmas, the Olympics and a whole load of other stuff I had become somewhat jaded about. It’s like having – cliché alert! – a second childhood, yada yada yada.
3. I lost another friend recently, in an avalanche that made the national news. (RIP, John.) 10-12 years ago we were going to weddings every other week. 5-6 years ago we were going to christenings every other week. Now we are going to kids’ birthday parties every other week. At some point in the future, the events we will be going to most frequently will be funerals. Morbid, but true.
4. I finally accepted that I’m now increasingly out of touch with modern music, and am only really clinging on by riding on the back of Isaac’s love of pop. And then I discovered SongPop – which I’m rather good at, if I do say so myself – and now I’m back in denial again.
5. Not being one to rest on my laurels, while trying to juggle having two jobs and being a father of three I’ve been hard at work on the blogging front too, starting up a cycling blog with writers covering three separate time zones, of which I’m editor-in-chief. Sounds very grand, doesn’t it? I even have business cards, for the day when someone offers us a huge sponsorship deal to work on the site full-time and keep my kids in the manner to which they have become accustomed. (No, I’m not holding my breath. I have no illusions about us becoming the next Huffington Post.)
6. All this has meant I’m so busy these days that I can’t be bothered to create a list post which conforms to a round number of points. Six is okay, right?
Incidentally, how old am I this year? Well, if you know your Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, my age is the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything, namely: what do you get if you multiply six by nine? And no, I’m not 54 …