You’re 1 year old today. Where on earth did the time go? I remember your arrival like it was yesterday and I can’t believe 365 days have gone in a flash. If I stopped long enough, I’d burst into tears because I don’t want you to grow up. I have loved the last year, getting to know you and falling in love with you; I don’t want you to change and I don’t want the world to spoil you.
You’re well out of the ‘baby’ phase and now you just want to wriggle, move about and explore the big wide world.
The thing is, I don’t want you to explore the big wide world because it’s a big and scary place and you’re my precious little boy whom I want to protect.
As you’re learning to walk, you’re falling over and bumping your head. Soon you’ll be talking and understanding others more. You’ll be more independent and more aware of the world around you.
As you turn 1 and your journey of independence moves up a gear or 2, I want to give you some advice that I’ve come to learn in my 27 years of life so far. Take it or leave it as you wish but I hope that it will in time be useful. Some of this won’t be useful yet, but save it, there will come a time that you’ll be seeking advice.
- Know yourself well and love who you are. There is nothing quite as important as being happy with who you are. I can tell you now, you’re wonderful, so you shouldn’t have a problem with this.
- Read. It’s good to read and it makes you clever. Being clever is good!
- Stay healthy and eat well. Enjoy your food too. A good hearty meal is something to savour.
- Be a good friend; loyal, generous and trustworthy. You’ll go far with these traits.
- Tell jokes. Everyone enjoys laughing. Make sure they’re clean jokes though…
- Support Arsenal. A good, honourable team who play football to the highest quality.
- Always say “please” & “thank you.” Polite manners go a long way.
- Find out what you enjoy doing quickly and then enjoy doing as much of it as you can.
- Always tell the truth, especially about how you’re feeling. Don’t be like your dad. It’s good to share your emotions no matter how hard.
- Keep hugging. Especially me!
- Be strong both physically and mentally. If you’ve nailed these 2 things, you’ll be able to do anything in life.
- Remember that your home is with me and your mum.
The only thing growing faster than you, Ted, is my love for you. If there is one thing I want you to know today, your first birthday, it’s that, “it’s me bear.”