Dear Baby Phill..

Dear Baby Phill,

I’m writing this letter on the occasion of my forty-sixth birthday. Once I’ve completed it I’m going to send it back through the annals of time so you receive a letter from your older self on the day of your birth.

Obviously you will be too busy being born to have time to read this on the 25th October 1972 but, hopefully, you’ll get to it when you’re good and ready. I’m also aware you didn’t actually learn to read until you were twenty-six so perhaps you can get a friendly nurse to read it to you.

Do you know the place you’ve just been born in is no longer there? Manygates Maternity Hospital closed in 1993. There is no plaque marking your arrival either as I’ve not yet done anything of particular note in the intervening years between then and now. In part this is because I’ve not yet done anything of particular note, but there’s also the failure of society to recognise my contribution to slow cooker recipes which remains a national disgrace.

Without wishing to spoil the surprises that are to come too much you’ve certainly been born into an interesting world.

A few months ago, there was a break in at a hotel which will lead to the most powerful man in the world having to resign his Presidency of the USA before you’ve learned to walk. Despite his humiliation he won’t be remembered as their most embarrassing President, that’s a while off yet though.

Before you turn thirty some planes will fly into important buildings and change everything. Try not to let that sway your view that being kind to every person is the one thing you’ve no excuse for not doing.

Unfortunately Leeds United are the current holders of the FA Cup but, fear not, you’ll be able to enjoy their humiliation at the hands of Sunderland when you settle down for your first final next May.

You’ve probably met the family by now. Your mother is the one that gave birth to you. She’s everything you will need but it might take a while before you really understand that. Your Dad is the one who turned up a bit later with a few cans. Don’t be annoyed by this, there’ll be a day when you’ll give anything for him to turn up with a few cans.

You already have one sister but I doubt she’s there today. Wait a while and you’ll find sisters are like buses. You wait ages for one and then three turn up.

I guess I should probably pass on some advice even though I’m not necessarily the best at this. If I was you I’d check everything I say with one of the other babies in your ward, I’m sure at least one of them knows their onions.

Firstly, you will love, lose and love again. Don’t take love for granted and understand that loss is just a bridge towards your next love. One day there will only be love but I’m not sure when.

Don’t wait until your forties before you realise that Fleetwood Mac are actually one of the greatest bands of all time. Don’t let anyone tell you they’re not cool, go your own way…(see what I did there).

Brussel sprouts are ace. Mashed potato isn’t. We’re still on the fence about asparagus.

Life is difficult but every day you will make someone smile, even if it’s just yourself.

This will never really be your world but you can be the fuel for those for whom it is. Value this.

Listening is far more than just hearing words.

Don’t bother with Grange Hill after Zammo kicks his heroin habit.

Be kind to your brother.

Don’t drink too much.

Learn how to let things go.

You will have talents, qualities and circumstances you don’t appreciate or value enough. To do this is disrespectful to those who wish they had a fraction of what you have. Try not to forget this.

If they care about you they will make an effort. You can still care about them but see their friendship for what it really is.

Today is not the best day of your life. You have some excellent days ahead. Be ready.

One day you will write a Blog. It will prove to be quite popular in India. Less so in Germany and on Saturn.

So little baby me, enjoy the day of your birth while I enjoy my birthday. I’m taking our kids out for fish and chips, you’re probably having milk. Make sure you drink it all up so you can grow up tall. The first time around I definitely missed a trick there.

All my love.

Phill (Aged 46).

41 thoughts on “Dear Baby Phill..

  1. This post really made me smile! I enjoyed reading it immensely. I really like this idea – you have inspired me to do something similar 🙂

  2. This was an enjoyable read, here’s hoping that the letter doesn’t get lost or manhandled by the time post office.

  3. Enjoyed reading the letter…the suggestions to the birthday for life ahead are really practical and make sense…
    Thank you..

  4. O wow, reading this brings back memories of my own growing up…. It inspires me to write a short biography or write a CV this way…..awesome… It generates ideas…..

  5. This is beautiful! I did something similar, but the other way around. When I was 20 I wrote to myself at 30. It was great to read it after my birthday. I should do it again…

  6. This was really such a great post. Well written, and hilarious but also deep and impactful! It made me smile and contemplate what I would tell my younger self! Happy belated birthday! Hope the fish and chips were delish! Can’t wait to read more from you!

    -Veronica Olafsen

  7. Beautiful post, it makes you think about writing a letter to my past self or to my future self (or family members).

  8. Phil,
    This is truly a beautiful way to display what your older self would tell his younger self. To express the lessons you’ve learned and the views you’ve taken on that will grow baby Phil into the kind, thoughtful, and funny 46-year-old Phil he is today. By the way, Fleetwood Mac IS one of the greatest bands of all time 😉

  9. Wow! I really love this. It’s very inspiring and I’ve learned a lot. I couldn’t agree more especially this… “Firstly, you will love, lose and love again. Don’t take love for granted and understand that loss is just a bridge towards your next love. One day there will only be love but I’m not sure when”… I love reading all your blog posts.

  10. Ommmg this is so beautiful and awesome. As I was reading the post, I got so emotional, I am loving this! 😀 Thanks for putting this out there. It is truly amazing.

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