I was 18 years old when I started dating Chrissy, who was finishing up her final year of high school. We knew fairly early on that we wanted to be together, and things got serious pretty quickly. Within just a couple of months, we found out that Chrissy was pregnant. It was the biggest shock I’ve ever had. I thought I was bulletproof, that something like that couldn’t possibly happen to us. I also had a pretty clear idea of what my future would look like: career plans, finishing my apprenticeship, buying a house, and after that, maybe getting married and starting a family. This wasn’t part of my plan at all. It’s not easy to face the music in circumstances like that, but I had to be a man and face up to what I’d done. Telling Chrissy’s dad was definitely a challenge! But, Chrissy and I basically just sat down and said, “Okay, how can we make this work?” Chrissy was still in school, but her parents and teachers worked to make sure that she was able to finish and graduate.
When Joel was born, I was there with Chrissy. I don’t think I could ever put into words what it felt like to see my son for the first time. I mean, you know that this child is yours, but when you see them in the flesh, there’s a feeling that’s indescribable. They’re a part of you. He even knew my voice and responded to me straight away. I remember very clearly taking Chrissy and Joel home that first time from the hospital. I was holding this tiny little bundle in my arms, and trying to get him into the carseat, and I thought, “Am I even qualified to drive you home?”
Having a family has meant that I’ve had to take on more responsibility than my mates. I have to be on the front foot with work and ensure that I can provide for them. I wouldn’t change anything though. I know it’s not what I thought might have happened, but I love being a dad. Joel is so much fun, and now we’ve gone on to get married and have another baby together. In the future, we’ll still be young when our kids leave home and we have so much of life ahead of us. To be honest, I think this is probably the best thing that’s ever happened to me.