Thank you to … my son’s father – the most decent man I’ve ever met

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Dear Small Boy’s Daddy,

It’s been nearly 10 years now, and I’ve never really managed to put into words what I’m about to say, because the words are so big, and so small, and there are so many to choose from, unspoken, unbidden, I never really know where to start. So I’ll start from the beginning.

I still remember the first day we met, at the Basildon coffee shop we worked in. I was new and you were laughing as you showed me the ropes: how to froth the milk differently for a cappuccino and a latte; how to pour the coffee so the crema on the top was just right. You were patient with my clumsiness, and everybody respected you, and more importantly, enjoyed your company. Little did we know, then, how it would all turn out. “I think that cream is off”, you furrowed your brow, holding out a frappuccino for me to test. As I leaned in to sniff it, you dunked my head in. I flicked it at your face, and mayhem ensued.

A few years, and many more practical jokes later, I nervously told you I was pregnant. You didn’t hesitate. “Anything you decide to do, anything you need, I’ll support you,” you said. I was so frightened, and you were so strong and steadfast. It’s been that way ever since. Our patchwork family – mother, father, our partners, your additional children, your parents, my parents, our partners’ parents, sisters, cousins, and everyone in between, have all helped to raise this small boy between us.

We don’t fight. I don’t recall a single argument; we co-operate without drama or disarray. I’ve done some stupid things in the past 10 years and you have quietly picked up the pieces each time. At every new school, after every failed relationship, you have been there with your silent reassurance. I’ve been a mess, but I’m doing OK now, and one of the threads holding this whole damn scruffy tapestry together is you.

I know this may slightly embarrass you, because you are modest and humble, but I want to thank you for the last decade, as we look to the next one and whatever it holds; and for the greatest gift of all – our son – who grows more like his father every day, with his big blue eyes, his ability to hold a room and make everyone feel special; his generous heart. I know we don’t really do feelings, but I bloody love you, and I couldn’t have done any of this without you. I am still frightened of motherhood, but knowing that my co-pilot on this journey is you is very reassuring. You’re the best, bravest and most decent man I’ve ever met, and I consider myself lucky every single day to be raising a son with you.

Merry Christmas and, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for everything.

Love, Jack

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