10 November 2005


We called him Ian Philip. He was born twenty one years ago and he's my only son. I remember the joyous day of his birth and how when he emerged pink and slippery into this world, I forgot to notice his gender. What mattered was that this was a new life, a new human being and this stupendous fact blazed so brightly that the baby's sex didn't matter. The medical staff cleaned him up and I heard a nurse say, "You've got a lovely baby boy."
Ian is a very cool dude. People like him. He's his own man and he has lots of principles he has worked out for himself. He is instinctively kind and he has never been in any kind of trouble. Currently, he works in a men's fashion shop in the heart of Sheffield, selling clothing brands that mean nothing to me - "D-Squared" and "Vivienne Westwood" and other names I can't remember. I think in some ways, he is still working out where he wants life to take him. In the meantime, he is a loyal worker - never misses a day - just as in high school when over five years, he never missed a single day. I guess he follows me in that regard. We are very lucky with our health and very pig-headed. Our family motto ought to be - "If you're down, if you meet shit, just soldier on".
When you have children what do you want for them? An American woman I once knew said that her six month old baby would become a doctor. Me and Shirley - we just wanted our kids to grow up to be decent, happy people. Success can be measured in lots of ways. Being a good person matters more than just about anything to us. In my life, many of the rich, over-promoted or degree laden people I have met have turned out to be complete assholes. I'd rather walk with people who are true, who look you in the eye, accept you for what you are. It's like we are all on a cruise ship together - this is our voyage through time - there's no time for hurt or for point-scoring. We are all passengers together. In my mind, the school cleaner is equal to the politician and the bus driver is equal to the egotistical rock star.
Ian Philip is a special guy. I'm blessed to have a son like him and I put this out on the world wide web in public praise of him. Long after I have disembarked, he'll be taking the cruise ship way beyond my dreams.


  1. That is a wonderful wonderful thing to say about your son. He sounds like a real trooper. You seem SO proud of him and in today's world that's not the norm.

    Well done for bringing him up to be the kind of son many parents long for.

  2. Ian is lovely. My 14 year old daughter actually used another phrase (hot as shit! - no, I didn't scold her for saying shit in that context). The name Philip - with one L, holds a special place in my heart. It's my husband's name. Yes, with one L (why can't Americans grasp that one L thing?!).

    Being proud of your son is fantastic. Being proud of your son for becoming his own man, without the pressures of society to become someone he's not, is even more special. I agree that being a good person and exploring one's own destiny are more important than anything else in life.

  3. He sounds like someone I would love to know! I am thrilled that he has such a loving father. He is very fortunate indeed

  4. Blog, Baby, blog! Write about the shitty days. Spew. Vent. Let us give you another perspective and the respect you deserve. Let us cry with you and make you laugh. Even through the diversity of Blogland, we care.


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