It's curious looking back. I've been writing this blog for so long now, that it covers a not-insignificant portion of my life.
I was still at college when it started back in 2006, and through the next six and a bit years it's chronicled my evolution. You've seen me move onto uni, onto work, onto girlfriends and new girlfriends. I've uprooted from Manchester to London, and changed completely along the way.
We're a couple of posts away from the magic 300 number (by blogger's count this is 297) - so it's right then that my life should shake so dramatically again.
See, I'm now an uncle.
The next generation begins!
Yep, my first 'proper' nephew (apologies Kyle) has been born.
Tyler Sean Watts, born August 10th 2012.
It's obviously scary and daunting for my sister Donna and her partner Phil. Well, duh. But at the same time I can't help but shake off the feeling that it's a BIG DEAL for me too.
Growing up, I was the oldest, and so it seemed inevitable that I'd be first to do everything. Get married, have kids. The whole shabang.
Reality didn't play along to that childish daydream. Donna moved out first. She hooked up with a guy long before I had a girlfriend. She's now had Tyler, and shattered my claim to the parent's first grandchild.
It shouldn't bother me, and it almost doesn't. But... There's a ting of jealously, especially considering it's been so long since I last had a girlfriend. The way I figure it, it will be YEARS before I'm ready to have a kid.
Even if I met the dream girl tomorrow, it would likely be a matter of years before either of us is ready to broach the subject of having kids. Even then, we could be trying, and trying to no avail. I'm a little scared that the nightmare of maybe not having any kids in this nightmare might, unlike those childish daydreams, actually come true.
My other sister Sarah is pregnant too, which adds to my anguish. At this rate my only other none New-Mother sister, Lauren (currently 13) will have kids before me!!
I should relax. I'm 23. Plenty of time. Right? Right?!
That's what worries me most, the not-knowing.
I'm an uncle!
I was speaking to a colleague at work, Alberto, who will soon become an uncle for the first time too. He asked what it feels like, and to be perfectly honest, I'm not quite sure I can put it into words.
Put it this way, looking down at Tyler, and then holding him later, I was smiling - both inside and out.
My instincts have kicked him; I want to look after him, and protect him, and all that macho male stuff. That's quite freaky. I've never felt that way about another life before. Even aged 10, when Lauren was born, I loved her, yeah, and would never harm her and see harm come to her... but it wasn't an instinct per se.
Does that make sense?
I hope it does.
It's really useful writing all this down, and I'm sure I'll look back and cherish these memories in years to come. I've started to do that with these old blog post. They are a useful reflection of times that have now passed.
"Welcome to the world Tyler!"
That's your Uncle Anthony speaking.