Last week my brother and sister-in-law became parents with the arrival of their first born son Zachary James.
His birth was significant for a number of reasons, not least that the maiden name of my wife now has someone to carry it on. He was also the firstborn son in a family of firstborn daughters. Finally, he adds the intriguing possibility of a Scouse cousin to our Mancunian daughter.
That’ll be a great accent-off in future!
It also had the amazing privilege of turning myself and my wife into Aunty and Uncle for the first time. Last year, we gained the title Mum and Dad and that was wonderful but there is something really lovely and moving about getting a family title due to people very close to you.
Zachary isn’t solely one of many beautiful babies who will share a year of birth with Princess Charlotte. He is someone whom I automatically love and want the best for, a child whose potential and future I will be praying for and a key part of a little family unit who will grow side by side with mine, sharing the highs and the lows together.
He will be a playmate for Sophie at family gatherings – thrust into the ‘Kids table’ perhaps until such times as they can hold adult conversations. His birthday goes straight onto the calendar as a new celebration to be marked each year (the month of May is already a terrific family one for us with my mum and my wife’s Grandad celebrating).
I will be there for him if he needs someone a bit more external to talk to or hang out with. If I can convince his maternal family to let me borrow him on a Saturday (highly unlikely!), he may even get some experience of “real” professional football by watching the mighty Blackburn Rovers rather than that crew who play at Anfield!
He is a fantastic gift to our family and one which we thank God for. A baby changes everything and becoming an uncle is second only to becoming a father in terms of significance and excitement.
I only hope I can do the job in the way this wonderful little baby requires!