5,844 days

Posted: 2 November 2011 in birthday, family, personal, phil
Tags: , ,


It’s an important number, you know.

For example, you presumably know that the number sixteen is a composite number, and a square number, being 42. But were you aware that it’s not only the smallest number with exactly five divisors, but that because it’s a power of two, it also has an aliquot sum one less than itself, fifteen?

And never underestimate the importance of sixteen as a quantity, either. There are sixteen frames in the moving image to your right. Just sixteen.

Sixteen is also the age at which many things of import occur, including – of course – having to suffer Neil Sedaka’s Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen being sung to you on your birthday.

Yeah, I’ll take care of that later; for today, you see, is my son’s sixteenth birthday.

Yeah, I know. Sixteen. I’m having some problems processing that fact myself, and I’ll let those of you who’ve known him for some years take a second or two to do a mental brain-flip while you accept it.

Philip Samuel Barnett – known to almost everyone bar his mum as ‘Phil’, and to one friend who corresponds with both Laura and me as “Phil(ip)” – was born on 2nd November 1995; at half past nine in the evening if you’re curious. And today, it’s 2nd November 2011.

In 1995, he was 8lb 3oz, and 21½” long. He’s a bit heavier than that now, and a whole lot taller, currently a shade over 5′ 9″, and yes, it won’t be too long before he’s taller than me. That’s cool. That’s good. A son should be taller than his father. That’s natural. That’s how it should be.

(Readers are solemnly invited to remind me of those lines when, in years to come, I have to reach up to him to pass him the requested car keys.)

Sixteen years old.


I’ve said many times – and it remains as true today as it was the day he was born – that being a father is the most fun thing I’ve ever done, bar none.

Now let’s get it straight: anyone who says being a parent is easy is either ignorant, lying or a masochist. It’s not easy, far from it. It’s not meant to be easy, but it is a responsibility that I love performing and undertaking, and the reason for that is simple: it’s solely because it’s Philip who’s my son.

As I’ve witnessed, helped (and hopefully not hindered too much) his progress through life, from baby to toddler, from toddler to child, from child to young adult, alongside wonder, my emotions have been, and continue to be, those of pride and pleasure in the young man he’s turned into. The credit for an incredible amount of that must go to Laura; she’s a wonderful mother. And I’m constantly filled with justifiable hope and confidence for the young adult he’s become, and the adult he will become in the next few years.

As always, however, I have no idea how he went from:






in what seems like an astonishingly short space of time.

‘Appy birthday, Phil. I love you, son.


[Feel free to add your birthday greetings and wishes here, I’ll make sure he sees them…]

  1. Brainfrog says:

    Happy Birthday Phil! It was lovely to meet you last night, if briefly. Have a great day :)

  2. Briz says:

    Congratulations! My best wishes to Philip! I still need to visit you guys one day and bring you both some American wellies, and maybe some bib overalls, too.

  3. Emma Carrington says:

    Wow. 16. Its one of those important birthdays – I remember mine so well. It included, as you mentioned, my Dad singing Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen, before waving me off to a goth night out at The Express in Crewe, with the warning “if you get caught under-age drinking then you take the responsibility and pay the fine!”. My parents, whilst libetarians (hence being allowed to go to the pub) strongly believe in personal responsibility. I thank them every day for giving me the same values.

    So, happy birthday Phil – you are entering one of the most exciting times of your life. Don’t wish it away but enjoy it and don’t ever let anything/anyone hold you back. Work for and grab your dreams, you obviously have people around you who support you and love you dearly – don’t ever be afraid to call on that support and love because that’s what makes one a man.

    Congratulations! :)

  4. subversion says:

    Happy Birthday to Phil and a Happy “16 years of massive achievement and hard work ” to you and Laura

  5. Vix says:

    Aren’t kids meant to get less cute with age? Phil gets cuter… or maybe it’s just that little kids unnerve me!

    Happy Birthday, li’l mucka! xx

  6. Paul (Quest) Storrie says:

    I great big “HAPPY SIXTEENTH BIRTHDAY!” to Sir Phil(ip) de Barnett!

  7. Wishing the best of the day to you from across the Atlantic, Phil!

  8. jayneclaire says:

    Happy Birthday Phil. Was lovely to meet you finally on Saturday. Hope you’ve had a lovely day. Enjoy these years, they’ll go far too quickly (This goes for you too, Budgie).

  9. Kate the Short says:

    Holy cannolli! Happy birthday, Phil!

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