I like to think of myself as someone who is fairly in touch with their emotions. I’m not ashamed to admit that I have to hold back the tears when watching heartstring-pullers like Surprise, Surprise, Comic Relief and the John Lewis Christmas advert. But a minor wetting of the eye is usually where I realise myself before giving a manly cough and blaming hay fever/the cat – of which I have neither.
But since the birth of our little man Albie, the waterworks have been on speed dial. I only need to catch a glimpse of Ronan Keating in Hello magazine to be reminded of Boyzone’s Father and Son and I’m an emotional wreck.
OK, so maybe I’m exaggerating, but there have been a few occurrences of PDE (public displays of emotion) that I thought I’d share with you.
1. Will this ever end?
As mentioned in my previous blog, Kayley was in labour for over 30 hours. Thirty hours of excruciating cramps, thirty hours of sucking so hard on the gas and air that her mouth bled, thirty hours of back rubs and foot rubs, of ‘you’re doing great’ and ‘you’re nearly there’ –and when you’ve been saying ‘you’re nearly there’ for more than a whole day, she understandably starts to think you’re lying.
At sometime around the 26 hour mark I felt a wave of emotion and anxiety shoot through me. Seeing her in so much pain for such a long period of time had finally warn me down. Rather than let Kayley see me in any other state than fully supportive I ran to the loo, locked the door and broke down in tears in a way I haven’t done since I got caught smoking weed in high school. I tidied myself up, took a deep breath and walked back into the room confident that no one would notice. But they all did and quickly assured me that it was fine and absolutely normal. Which almost set me off again… almost!
Self explanatory this one. After what seemed like several lifetimes of breathing and pushing and squeezing and screaming – and that’s just me – I suddenly heard the screams of my baby boy emanating from behind my wife. The instant feeling I got from this sound is inexplicable. A mixture of Kayley no longer being in pain, my son finally being here with all toes and fingers and willy present was overwhelming beyond belief, there’d be no running to the toilet for this sob session.
3. The power of books
The remainder of the list is slightly less understandable and a potential source of embarrassment for me, but hey, we’re all friends, so here goes.
Instead of nappies and clothes for gifts we asked our nearest and dearest for books, so now Albie has a great collection and I don’t have to spend hours in the library, win/win.
When looking through his literary haul, I came across one from his Auntie and Uncle that I recognised. After a few minutes of wondering whether it had been a book I’d read as a child I realised that it was actually featured in an episode of Friends. When Joey forgets to get Emma a gift he does a dramatic reading of ‘I’ll Love You Forever’.
Anyway, five or so minutes later Kayley walks into the nursery to find me cradling Albie with tears running down my cheek after being caught off guard by the massively sad ending.
4. Not throwing away my hanky
A further episode took place in the nursery when attempting to sing along to Dear Theodosia from the musical Hamilton. Let’s just say I’m glad no one else was in the room when that happened.
5. Happy Birthday!
I’d only just come to terms with the ordeal of child birth when I was confronted with the reality of being another year older. But the dread that comes with creeping further away from your 30s soon dissipated when I woke up to my beautiful wife and baby boy.
It wasn’t long before the tears came though, namely when presented with my first ever card from Albie to Daddy. That’s going in the keepsake box.
It’s been over a week since I cried last, so there’s a potential that I’ve reverted back to manly man and will stay that way until Billy Connolly travels to Kenya for his next Children in Need VT, but I doubt it…