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Durban - There was a welcome addition to the James household this Christmas, with the much-anticipated arrival of Jesse Michael James, son of Sharks and former Springbok rugby star Butch James and his wife Julia.
Welcoming the Sunday Tribune into their plush Mount Edgecombe home on Saturday Butch and Julia said they have loved every minute of parenthood since their bundle of joy arrived last Friday.
Having moved to Durban recently after his contract with the Lions ended, Butch said he was happy to be home and playing for the team that kicked off his rugby career.
Posing first for photographs, Jesse nestled in his mother’s arms, unaware of the camera clicking away.
As Julia excused herself to feed Jesse, Butch settled down to talk about being a father for the first time.
“It’s only been a week but I love being a dad. Having your first child is such a special thing,” he said beaming.
The couple married on February 5 last year. Jesse Michael was born on Friday the 14th.
“We are learning as we go along. Jesse does get us up quite a few times in the night to feed but since I have been in training with the Sharks Julia has allowed me to sleep through the night. Now that we have been given a break from training I will be able to help her more,” Butch said.
He said while the name Jesse doesn’t hold any special meaning, they both loved it and easily agreed on the choice.
“We named him Jesse Michael, simply because we loved the name and both our fathers are named Michael so it was a good fit. We are really enjoying being parents; we just love him so much.”
He laughed when asked if they were planning to add to their brood but admitted he would love to have a big family.
“Jesse is the first grandchild on both sides so he is already spoilt. He doesn’t like to be left in his cot, he is so used to being held. We definitely would like to have more kids but have to be practical.
“I have come back to where I started. It is almost like a script, I am ending my career where it started, it couldn’t have been written any better. Also it is great to be back in Durban now that we have a baby. He is close to both sets of grandparents.”
He enjoyed his time with the Lions in Joburg saying it allowed them to bond as a couple as they spent “a lot of time together”.
While he has signed with the Sharks for the Super 15, he would like to extend his contract further and is also pursuing other options.
He is a managing director at local advertising company “Sugar the agency” and hopes to get more involved.
“We do advertising across the line ranging from print to TV… it is interesting because you are always working on something new.”
He said Julia was hoping to get back into desktop publishing and graphic design which she took a break from to have the baby.
Their Christmas will be spent with Julia’s family in Kloof he said, before they head to a game reserve for the New Year. - Sunday Tribune