It is my birthday today.
I was not looking forward to it to be honest. However, against the odds, it is turning out rather wonderfully.
I thought I would blog about birthdays of the past. A bit of fun to reflect on my life and times to date.
My actual birthday was spent in Essex. Yes, believe it or not, I am an Essex girl. I was a lovechild too and my existence was being denied here, there and everywhere. My grandparents never knew I existed.
On my 1st birthday, I was a foster child living in Yorkshire. I got lots of toys.
On my 2nd birthday, I had my own adoptive family and lots more toys.
On my 7th birthday, there was a party for my school-friends. In those days, you had them at home with your relatives too. There was a home-made cake with candles, sausage rolls and probably jelly and ice-cream. Two friends from then are still in my life which is rather splendid.
On my 18th birthday, I worried for weeks because there was much passing of notes between my friends as they made their plans. They did me proud with a huge pink teddy bear, a pub and nightclub crawl, a tape of birthday songs and even an Ode dedicated to me and a completely fictional crush on a teacher. “There must be something who causes your head to whirl, sends your pulse racing and makes your toes curl. You’ve kept us all guessing, you must think we’re thick, we’ve known along his name’s Mr ?” I am not naming him in case he sues me for defamation.
My 21st birthday was spent in my hometown when my friend Rachel from college came to stay. She was a vegetarian and wore Doc Martens so my Mum did not really take to her at all well. Things got worse when she put her boots on my Mum’s sofa. So it was all a bit fraught and we went down town for a mega charity shopping exercise to cheer ourselves up and then got hammered on bacardi. Fortunately, I had my 21st birthday party earlier in the month at college and it was fabulous. I had a jewel-encrusted strapless silk number on and lots of peach schnapps.
My 22nd birthday was spent with the girl I was sharing a house with and a lad from the parallel street. We went to a posh hotel restaurant out in the country. I remember going there in the lad’s mini and just hitting it off with him and he had the same birthday too. We went back to his place and the girl I was sharing with went home. By the next morning, somehow, I had agreed to move in with him and did.
My 25th birthday was spent whilst I was a lodger in a house owned by a journalist. He was bisexual but hiding that fact and his gay lover. Lots of people assumed we were having a thing which we weren’t despite my very best efforts. I had a party at the house with a mix of friends from college and work. I remember a barrister friend turning up with a bright yellow sports car and lots of people oooing and ahing. I remember this was the period where I made a big error of judgement and allowed an evil bloke into my life. I was told he was sinister and did not listen. We live and learn.
My 27th birthday was spent with the said evil bloke, now my live-in boyfriend. He said all the right things and pressies tended to be lovely. I won’t drag this post down with all his misdemeanours.
My 30th birthday was spent with my next boyfriend and now husband. My parents had stopped talking to me due to me getting a new boyfriend I think so I remember being quite upset. I seem to remember one of my stepdaughters getting me little ornamenal teapot things. Tacky but I guess the thought was there.
You then hit the period where the birthdays that you remember are your children’s rather than your own. Lack of babysitters mean you don’t get out to celebrate, you are bogged down in responsibilities and so on. When you are not busy planning the next child’s birthday celebrations, you are arranging birthday treats for your partner.
My 40th birthday was spent moving house after yet another little life crisis. I did get to sit down with Baileys and watch the X Factor Final though. You know, back in the days when the X Factor was good. I remember Mum saying that not to worry that it had not being the best 40th and that she would make it up to me the next year. Neither of us knew then that for her, my 40th birthday would be the last she saw.
This year I had an early birthday treat when I got to see “We Will Rock You” in Leeds. Then last week, I had a lovely night watching the Young Voices concert in Sheffield. However, since those events, I have had illness and emotional upheavals to boot.
I guess sometimes we get to have the best birthdays when we don’t expect them to be all that. I woke up and on opening eyes saw Him Indoors presenting me with a lovely bouquet of flowers in white, pinks and purples. Brownie points for the purple as that was a colour at our wedding. All my cards gave a sense that they had not just being chosen randomly but selected especially for me. Two of my children sang “Happy Birthday” to me without any prompting at all. The other gave me a big hug and a book on werewolves (?).I got some money too which I have already spent on lots of totally unnecessary but fun things.
I even bought something that is so apt for the #groovingmum that I am. Will be posting later about that in my #groovingmums post.
I am not sure what the rest of the day holds. Probably a meal made by Him Indoors with all my favourite things. A tea party with the children and maybe, just maybe a sneaky drink or two. A few more birthday messages via tweet and email.
Today, of all days, there is reason to focus on how lovely it is to just be an ordinary family that like most of them, is also quite extraordinary in its own way too. Here is to memory-making and special days.