I’ve got a confession to make… the happiest day of my life wasn’t the day my perfect little baby boy breathed his first breath. That day was far too full of stress and trauma, and horror to be described as “happy” – emotional? Yes. Moving? Yes. But happy? Not really.
The happiest day of my life had nothing to do with my son. It was nearly four years ago, when he wasn’t even a flicker – way before I knew what a poonami was or had heard of Metanium. It was – Valentines cliché alert – the day I married my husband. My mum gave me away, and I swear I dragged her down the aisle, scuffing the only pair of Louboutins I’ll ever own, so desperate was I to set eyes on my husband-to-be. The next 20 minutes are a bit of a blur, but the clearest moment was bursting into tears when we finally set eyes on each other and holding on for dear life. We were totally smitten, even after 5 years together. He was my one, my best friend, my lover*, my everything.
It had been like that since we met, on a cheesy unexpected internet date all those years before. I had only joined the site so I could write a Carrie Bradshaw-style blog about being single in London and I thought he looked like a bit of a cad so might make a funny chapter as all of his photos were of him with other women**. He was similarly dubious having been told by the site not to trust me because I hadn’t uploaded a photo (I wasn’t very trusting of that internet thing), but as soon as we met it was like being punched in the face with a big fat lung-full of love. The strength of the mutual attraction was immediate.
Starry-eyed, we moved in together after three months, got cats, got a car, got an engagement ring, got a mortgage… and we were so ridiculously happy, just the two of us, enjoying several (!) holidays a year, having lazy weekends and constantly making each other laugh our heads off with a sense of humour that no-one else seems to share.
So when we fell pregnant, it was with a bit of trepidation from myself. I worried that the stresses of keeping a tiny human alive might put the dampeners on our magical existence together. That the change of pace might affect our loved-up-ed-ness. That the love we’d feel for our baby would somehow eclipse or absorb the love we felt for each other.
But I needn’t have worried. In reality, the reverse happened. For us, having our son really was the next chapter of our love story – which sounds trite but it’s honestly true. Over the last 15 months, I’ve found a whole raft of reasons to love him that I didn’t have before.
I love that he’s a dad. An awesome, top of the range, crafted-by-artisans dad. The Ocado of dads. The kind of dad that takes his son to the park on a Saturday morning so mummy can have a lie-in, that chases them around the living room making lion noises, that has a magically calming effect on a stressed out, teething baby and an at-the-end-of-her-tether mummy. I’d always imagined him as that dad: he’s so patient, calm and kind – but he’s surpassed my expectations over the last 15 months. And I think we can all admit that there’s nothing hotter than a really awesome dad.
I love that we’re a team. It’s not just that the line between the pink and blue jobs has totally dissolved: after a long day in the office, he’ll automatically stick a load in the washing machine, empty the dishwasher, pack a lunchbox – it’s that when I needed a blood transfusion 48 hours after giving birth, he slept on the floor next to me because we’d only been parents for 48 hours and we had to work this shit out together. It’s that when we got home from hospital, he refused to let me lift a finger because my job was feeding the baby, and his job was everything else. We were in it together from the very start.
I love that I can see him in my son. That perfect little face, those gorgeous greeny-blue eyes, those cute monkey toes are absolutely his dad’s in miniature. And in appallingly shallow news, I can’t wait to have more babies, just to see how my handsome husband’s features might appear! I love the idea of sending our brood out into the world, passing on the elements of my husband that I love so much.
And I love that, now my son is one, I finally have someone who understands the day-to-day love I have for my husband. My son’s face lights up when his daddy walks into the room, just like mine does – we both want to see that tall, handsome man who we share our lives with, even if he has only been out of the room two minutes. Our little boy even has a special dinosaur roar which is reserved exclusively for daddy, which fills me with joy every time I hear it.
But above all, I love that we’ve somehow made it through that hard first year of parenting, and we still fancy the pants off each other, despite the battle scars, the stretch marks and the sleepless nights. That really does seem worth celebrating!
So Happy Valentines Day to my wonderful, one-in-a-million, love of my life Husband. You are the best xxx
*does anyone else find the word “lover” just so cringey??
**turns out they were just friends…
Heather Davies-Mahoney is a radio producer, who can’t help producing in her spare time too. So far she has produced a marriage, a mortgage, a mini-me and a mountain of possety muslins. In her NCT group she is the instigator of Boobs & Boxsets afternoons.