It’s a pretty big week for me. Though it may seem that very little is actually happening, I have two major landmarks in my life this week.
So let’s start at the beginning and by far the least important, yesterday was my birthday. Always a good time to reflect and look to the past as well as the future, a realisation hit me that I am probably happier now than at any other stage of my life.
Of course as the procedure always goes, I was asked last week by a few people what presents I wanted. A pretty simple question in general but after a few days of thought I had to concede that there is nothing in the world that I really want or need. A strange concept even to me. I already have all that I desire and this realisation actually made me pretty happy!
Don’t get me wrong, this does not make me a happy-go-lucky guy who you’ll be seeing whistling down the street with a spring in my step. I’m still a miserable git, just a contended one.
The weight of worries will always be with me and the unwanted ability to find the negative in almost any situation will never go away. These are things that money can not buy. Robbie is growing at an alarming rate and my fears that I simply can’t keep up with him are too.
He is still just a one year old but now knows every number, colour, letter and shape. He is basically smarter than me already but I know this is more a complement to his toddler tv programmes than my skills as an educator. There is absolutely no contest in the fitness department either, that boy is fast! Having showed a few friends and family a video of him counting so clearly to ten, they also seem to think he is getting way too smart for his age which gives me both a huge sense of pride and a nagging doubt over my ability to keep up.
Of course, there are some ways that I outsmart him. I no longer attempt to eat pencils nor constantly climb into boxes from which I can’t escape, so at least I have a few advantages over the little monster.
So back to the subject. My birthday was actually an amazing day. Having had the opportunity to see the majority of my family over the weekend I was more than happy to spend the day doing very little with just Sarah and Robbie. We took a walk to the duck pond and had a Chinese, that was about it. My perfect day. Thanks to all for the messages and cards too!
So on to tomorrow, this is the part that many of you may want to stop reading. Football is back. I do not deny that I have a rather unhealthy addiction to the game but I feel I have full justification for this.
Some of my fondest memories as a child were spent watching Leyton Orient, Colchester United and Southend. My Dad will never let me forget asking him who would be commentating at my first ever live match, blissfully unaware that the sound of the voices was not present at the stadium.
As we moved on to bigger and better, my first game watching Arsenal at Highbury resulted in an amazing goal from a player called Lee Dixon. Those that follow football may know that this man was far from a superstar, a defender that would rarely leave his own half let alone become the hero. To me though, this moment left a real impact. His name was on the back of my shirt the next week, possibly the only child in the country to this, meaning he will always be a football legend to me.
As I’ve got older football has continued to give me these moments and emotions that I will never forget. Watching Thierry Henry score on his return to the club with my brother was an emotional moment. The sheer ecstasy and laughter in watching Nicklaus Bendtner, a laughing stock at the club, score a hat trick to fire us through in the Champions league was unforgettable and has been a subject of many happy conversations over the years.
For me, football is not just a sport but the basis of some of my most powerful memories. Having these shared memories with my Dad, Mum, Brother and wife is fantastic and I really hope that in time I can share them with Robbie too.
Yesterday, as I was boring my wife with yet more talk of the restart, Robbie overheard me saying the word football. He ran to get a ball then nudged it around the room with his foot whilst shouting ‘Kick Kick Kick,’ my heart sank. The future of football has arrived.
Don’t worry, I’ll stop now. Hope everyone is keeping safe and thanks for making it to the end!
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