I will never forget that Monday afternoon. I received a text message from Elle asking what time I’d be home from work as I’m a teacher at a middle school. It was fairly normal that I’d stay behind and get some marking or planning done – I might even have needed to go and argue with the photocopier in preparation for the next day’s lessons. However there was something about the tone of this message that told me I had to come home as soon as possible. As I entered our home and asked how her day had been I remember feeling an indescribable feeling that something was not entirely as it had been before. As a follow up to my question Elle asked me to go and have a look in the oven so in my head I immediately thought “Oh great, what’s happened to it now?”.
What I found, as I peered into our grill, I dismissed on first glance. I mean, it didn’t seem entirely odd that a bread roll had been placed in the oven. However, the bright yellow post it note attached to this particular roll was distinct and altogether alien for an oven so on sighting this, I took the roll and it’s alien stowaway out for a closer observation. It read the following few words:
“You are going to be a dad!”
To say my face smiled is the biggest understatement ever written or expressed in the various tongues of mankind. My face felt as if it had split clean in half with a sheer sense of awe as I comprehended these once simple words, which now were the most important and least alien thing in the world to me. I looked at Elle with what must have been a sheer look of dumbfounded-ness as she checked if I was OK.
Oh if only I could have expressed then what I was feeling in the space of those few short seconds. It was, first and foremost, absolute awe, wonder and joy the like of which I had never felt near to before. I remember looking at Elle and knowing right there, in that very second, that we were going to be the most amazing little family and that I was the luckiest guy in the world.
I have seen and read so many accounts (mainly since finding our we were expecting our little person) and read about some feeling an initial sense of worry and shock. Well, call me naive if you like, but at the age of 27 years old I felt like I finally had everything that I had ever wanted or dreamed of. A beautiful partner and a soon to be entirely unique little person who would be a perfect and refined combination of Elle and I.
There was only one thing that seemed appropriate at the time though. I said something along the lines of “Really?!”. It is genuinely a bit of a blur looking back on it now – even just a few months down the line. I recall Elle asking if I was alright and me giving her a huge kiss and a hug. Then we did the only thing I think either of us could think to do: we sat down, had a cup of tea and started to chat. There’s one thing you can be absolutely certain of: we Brit’s know how to celebrate.
A guest post written by my partner J.