Eighteen years ago our son arrived in this world two weeks late, setting a pattern of behaviour that has carried on for his entire life so far. I suspect it was only the threat of being induced that forced him to cooperate, because no amount of curries or fast motorcycle rides on bumpy roads managed to prompt any sort of action on his part.
He was late walking too, but perhaps he couldn't see the point because he was an Olympic standard crawler.
Ending up an average student at school (could have done more but he had all his enthusiasm drained by bored and indifferent teachers) he at least left with good enough qualifications to embark upon a motor vehicle course at Cambridge Regional College.
Now he's happily settled in a job he enjoys, which is a major relief.
Thinking back to how we stumbled through those early years filled with confusion, wondering if we were doing things right, it's with a certain sense of satisfaction that on his eighteenth birthday we can sit back and be pleased with the way he's turned out. He may not be a Nobel prize-winning physicist, but he's not spending his days saying "Do you want fries with that?" either.
The shock to the system when the boy arrived in our lives was immense. Suddenly there was something more important to focus on and anything we wanted to do or have had to take a back seat.
Things were tight and although we didn't exactly struggle, it wasn't an easy ride either.
Gradually things got easier and over the years we've managed to claw back our own identities as individuals. I daresay most parents go through much the same cycle.
The boy is now a man with all the opportunities that legally becoming an adult bring - although the only advantages he'll be taking advantage of for the forseeable future are being able to drink alcohol in the pub and getting a tattoo.
Now our lives are pretty much our own without the restrictions of the past, and we're making progress with getting ourselves in the routine of doing our own thing as a couple.
We're looking forward to going on holiday on our own, trying not to wonder what state the house will be in when we get back. It's also nice to choose days out without worrying about a third party being bored and spoiling the atmos.
It's nice to be in that middle-aged period of life. The mortgage repayments are small and all other debts are gone. We're both working full time too which helps.
I've given up on commuting by bus now because I'm sick of waiting around for buses that may be late or not turn up at all, and I've had enough of sharing my personal space with people with loud music, even louder kids and questionable personal hygiene.
I've come to terms with never having another motorcycle, but at least after all these years of choosing a car based upon whatever happened to be available at the time that does the job, I've for the first time ever been able to buy one because it's what I wanted. Maybe that's some sort of compensation for all the new aches and pains that arrive on an increasingly regular basis.