These were the touching words of family members of seven-year-old Archie Spriggs at the opening of his his inquest today.
The schoolboy, from Rushbury, near Church Stretton, was murdered by his mother Lesley Speed at the home they shared on September 21, 2017.
An inquest into Archie’s death began this morning in Shrewsbury, with family statements read to the court.
Archie’s father, Matthew Spriggs, shared memories of when Archie would climb into bed with him each morning, trying not to wake him up. He described his beloved son as an inquisitive, loving and adventurous boy.
Mr Spriggs said: “Archie was a wonderful son, his smile and laughter always filled the air and he had a fantastic sense of humour.
“I never knew what love meant until Archie was born.”
He said Archie loved to play Minecraft and sing in the car, making up new lyrics that they would laugh at.
He enjoyed riding his bike, swimming, exploring castles and visiting museums, and loved going to church on Sundays.
Mr Spriggs recalled Archie’s bedtime routine, which always ended with them saying “I love you” to each other.
He added Archie could also be insecure and afraid, adding: “I promised I would always be there to support him and keep him safe.”
Archie’s grandparents said he had a “wicked sense of humour” and was always trying to fix things.
His uncles and aunts said in a joint statement that Archie was a “fabulous little boy”.
They said: “We all love him dearly and treasure every moment we got to spend with him.
“He was thoughtful, kind and clever.
“Losing him has left a huge hole in all our hearts but at the same time has taught us all what love really means.”
His cousins’ statement said Archie loved to play, gave “rib-crushing” hugs and would always share his sweets.
They added: “His hugs were so big and so full of love.
“He had so many more hugs to give.”
The inquest is expected to last up to two weeks.