Opinion with Matthew Munson: A brand new year

Matthew and Bryan

Well, there you have it. Christmas is over. New Year’s Eve is done and dusted. We are in a brand new year, and Bryan and I have taken down our Christmas decorations.

I haven’t gone out to party for the New Year in many years – so many, in fact, that I can’t even remember when I last did. I remember spending one NYE in a pub; I was sat right next to the DJ’s speakers, and thinking, “Never again.”

These days, I am more inclined to be in bed by the time midnight rolls around. I was tempted to let Bryan stay up until midnight, but I’d taken him to the cinema in the afternoon, and he was exhausted in the evening (we’d walked there and back to get some exercise), so the normal bedtime routine happened instead. He didn’t put up too much of a fight, so I suspect even he agreed.

And then, without any effort from us, we found ourselves in a New Year – as my dad would say, it’s just another day. I like the thought of a brand new year, but I am forced to agree with him as well; I don’t really feel any different to yesterday.

I’m not one for new year’s resolutions; if there’s something I want to achieve, then I’ll set out a plan to achieve it. I don’t necessarily wait until a particular date in the calendar in order to do it. That said, of course, each year has certain things that we’re aiming for, and I’m excited for them.

This year, as we now have to say, Bryan goes to secondary school (gulp). I’m not quite ready to be the father to a secondary school age child, but I suppose I must be, as it’s going to happen with or without my consent. We find out in March which school he goes to, and we’re excited to see how his future develops.

He’s also settled tremendously well; in March, we’ll also be celebrating the third anniversary of him coming home, as well as his eleventh birthday (I might well be an emotional wreck in that month; your support and help would be gratefully received). I can’t wait to help him grow and develop even more than he already is; more independence will be happening with a certain inevitability (especially now that he has a mobile phone). He is already asking to walk by himself half-way to his grandparents (they only live 10 minutes down the road), so I suspect we’ll be seeing much more of that.

Being a dad has been the greatest privilege of my life; Bryan has chosen me as much as I chose him, and he allows me into his life. It could have been different if we hadn’t gelled, but we’ve easily become a family – more easily than I expected. The teenage years are looming, so I know there will be some fraught moments along the way, but I am confident in our trust and (sorry, Bryan) love. Right now, he is happy to spend time with me, and I am going to savour every single moment. When he starts to spend more time with his friends, then I will gracefully accept that expansion of his social life; it’s important he does all these things. But I will also fret and worry, because that’s what parents do, and he won’t understand why I fret and worry, because that’s what children do. It’s our lot in life, and I must accept it.

Whether we see a New Year as the start of something new or as “just another day”, I think we can agree that 2022 will be eventful.

1 Comment

  1. You must savour these moments together, as yes, secondary school is looming and things will start to change whether or not you and Bryan are ready and willing for those changes. Some will be good and some not so. But whatever happens, it’s to be looked upon as education in life and style.
    I love to read your story with Bryan each Sunday as it shows us love and family life as it is at the Munson towers, also out and about in the neighbourhood.
    If I had been Bryan I would have been so happy to have found a father figure such as you at that age. I am not saying I hated my childhood, but things were cut short too early for me. I wasn’t ready for what happened.
    What I did when in a later date was to foster a teenager who was troubled and has ASD. It was not easy, not in the slightest, I still get called up several times a day, but it was rewarding to that young person in having a steady home, and also to myself in doing something to help that person.
    Anyway, have a happy and healthy New Year. I hope things will settle with this pandemic so we can all get back to some sort of normal again.

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