For many, 2016 hasn’t *exactly* been a great year. In fact, some are going as far as to dub it the worst year ever.
We had Brexit, the murder of MP Jo Cox, Trump and bombings in Brussels – along with tragedies in Nice and Berlin.
You could argue it was the year that music died, with Bowie, Prince, Glenn Frey, Leonard Cohen, Rick Parfitt and George Michael all passing away. And it wasn’t just in the music world that some of the brightest stars left us, acclaimed British actor Alan Rickman died of cancer, as did Terry Wogan, Victoria Wood and Carolina Aherne. Paul Daniels died of a brain tumour. Author Harper Lee died age 89, Ronnie Corbett died age 85, and Muhammad Ali died age 74 . Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds died only a day apart.
Doctors went on strike. A gorilla was shot dead. Brangelina split.
But amid all of this, as of March 22, this year became my best year ever.
2016 will forever be the year I became a mummy. The year my oh-so-longed-for baby boy was born. A year that has passed in a blur of sleepless nights, pudgy-arm cuddles and belly kisses. Of tiny firsts and even tinier toes. Of gurgling laughs, joyful squeals and gummy smiles.
Since having Sonny Jim the world seems to have become a more frightened – and frightening – place. As I have disappeared into days of baby yoga, play dates and mummy lunches, death and disruption lurks at the edges. People seem to be growing less trusting, less tolerant. Differences seem more defined.
I don’t know if this happens to all new parents. If the existence of something so tiny, defenceless and precious, just makes you feel more fragile around the edges, more worried for people as a whole, but at the same time more insignificant and less powerful.
I don’t know what world Sonny Jim will grow up in. What new tragedies are patiently waiting at the edge of the loving little bubble he exists in at the moment.
But what I do know is that this extraordinary year, 2016, will take some beating.
So here’s hoping 2017 will extraordinarily joyful.
PS For those of you who aren’t as besotted with this little blue-eyed boy as I am, here are six nice things that happened this year!
- Andy Murray won at Wimbledon
- Leicester City enjoyed a fairytale Premier League victory
- The Queen (didn’t die!) turned 90
- Tiger numbers rose for the first time in a century
- The World Health Organisation announced that measles had been eliminated from the Americas.
- Mother Teresa was declared a saint