I celebrated a birthday recently. The best bit about the day wasn’t the presents (which I’d shouted myself anyway), or turning a year older (definitely NOT a highlight), or the warmth of birthday wishes from friends and colleagues (you’ve got to love Facebook for reminding them all don’t you), it was the birthday cards that my family gave me.
- The always-thoughtful card from Father of a Man-Child. I swear he missed his calling – he should have worked for Hallmark. Every card he writes for me (or someone else for that matter) always seems to say just the right thing, injected with genuine warmth and emotion that brings a tear to your eye, and words that cause you to stop and reflect on your life.
- The gorgeous home-made card from Sister of a Man-Child, whose excitement was palpable, even days before. “Mum, what’s your favourite colour? Is it green, and yellow?”. Of course I told her knowingly. And on the eve of my birthday, almost bursting with pride: “Can I PLEASE just show you the front cover of your birthday card Mum”. Patience won!
- The wonderful card from Man-Child I , “long” by his standards (although he’s an amazing writer, I don’t think he enjoys the very personal stuff much), telling me I’m the best Mum he could have, and thanking me for everything that I do for him. Perfect! In a moment you forgive everything of a child when they say this.
- And last but not least the surprisingly mature card from Man-Child II, talking about his own attitude as he grows up, and the fact that he is enjoying the company of his parents more and more, and doesn’t mind spending time with us. And of course loves his mother, and all that she is. This attitude change is a turning point for an adolescent, and really does represent a shift in the parent/child dynamic, an indication that we’re on the way to “coming out the other side” with at least one of the boys.
I know, you’re thinking gee, what will Mother of a Man-Child write about if they turn into nice people? Don’t worry, they’re still adolescents. One beautiful card doesn’t mean the trouble is over……
My wonderful day ended as it should with a simple dinner out with our children. Pizza and pasta provided the perfect opportunity for the boys to carb up ahead of yet another rowing regatta, and Sister of a Man-Child was in gelati heaven, just proving that you don’t need a fancy restaurant to enjoy a night out and the simplest things in life can bring you much happiness.
Here’s to the next birthday – I can’t wait to relive the joy and love I felt on that day in another year’s time.