Happy birthday.

To me yesterday.  Happy Birthday to you to, whenever it is.  I tend to have mine once a year, though the Queen and teddy bears are allowed twice, what about you?

I have until this year hated my birthday.  Not because I’m getting older, I think wisdom is a good swap for age.  I am not sure when we started valuing young people because they could sing or looked cute on camera over older people with a few wrinkles who knew stuff.  It seems to be multi cultural, around the world leaders are judged on their appearance of youth, which begs the question: if they arrived at the podium in a pram, would we respect them more?

I hated my birthday because I am adopted.  It was a defeat for my mother and she made sure it was always a misery for me.  She invariably sent a card saying: on your birthday I do not think of you, I think of your mother who gave you away.  Enchanting stuff.  This year, that could no longer happen and I am so relieved.  Your birthday is supposed to be about you.

The S&H the DIL and two (count ‘em TWO) grandchildren drove all the way to celebrate.  We met at the restaurant of their choice at a time to suit them because I remember the awful times we went to see my mother and she had cooked elaborate, time-critical meals and we were five minutes late and had spoiled everything forever and wrecked life in general and the day in particular.  I also frequently arrived ‘Looking like that’ as in ‘What did you come looking like that for?’  Or we were dressed formally and it was smart casual or the child was wearing an ‘unfortunate outfit’.  So I don’t do any of that.  Whatever you wear and whenever you get there is fine by me, I’m just super glad they will load the children into the car and drive all that way to see me.  I pay for everything without a murmur, with delight that I can do it, and I express no opinions on anything that is said or done.  As a reward I get to feed my grandson while his mother is snatching a bite of lunch, I get to chase my granddaughter round a restaurant, several times, I get to take her to a toy/clothes/children’s shop her parents have spotted and buy great stuff for her and do a cold early tea with a bottle of my father’s champagne so they could get off home in time for bedtime.  I even was able to put my feet up for the evening once I had put everything back again that the GDD had helpfully fetched.  The fetching included my dumbbells which she was carrying around effortlessly while we all nudged each other in amazement.  She is eighteen months old and carrying my weights around in one hand while strolling round the room deciding where to put them. It was very like the scene after Olympic Weightlifting when the cleaner comes on to the stage and lifts the Olympic bar and weights up in one hand to vacuum the stage underneath.

It was a great day but the best bit came in the post in the morning; it was the present I really wanted and it was a hospital scan appointment for Wednesday for the OH.  The light at the end of the tunnel may be an oncoming train or it might be the daylight.  Which it is is immaterial, for the first time it is there.

Older, wiser, better at the business of living, more grateful for good times, birthdays are great.  They are a reminder that we are all here to learn and doing it day by day.

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Miniatura 30th September 1st October 2017.

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