motherhood, parenting

It’s not my party but I’ll cry if I want to!

I cannot quite believe that we will be the proud owners of a six year old tomorrow! Another incredible year has flown by and I sit now, as I do every birthday eve, reflecting on the last 365 days, wondering how on earth my baby is another year older already!

I’d happily bet money that there isn’t a mother out there that doesn’t reminisce over their child’s actual birth around the time of their birthday celebrations. At the point of writing this, exactly six years ago, I was in labour at a wedding, grimacing through what were probably very funny speeches, blissfully unaware of the rollercoaster that lay ahead! I say this primarily because I believe at one point during the twenty-seven hour period I actually thought I was on one! Technically I was. A bed shaped one! Whizzing down the hospital corridor at full speed, but therein lies another story. Still….with every birthday I replay the moments in my mind, time and time again. The memories never fade, and luckily, with each passing year, wonderful new memories are added to the replay, making for some pretty emotional times.

These emotional times, as I call them, got me thinking. As adults, our birthdays seemingly come around very quickly, advancing age sneaking upon us more rapidly every year. As children, let’s face it, we’ve all experienced it, birthdays seem to take forever (as does Christmas!) and counting the fractions becomes an integral part of growing up. This year was pivotal for Bubba’s understanding of birthdays and time. From the moment Bubba turned five years old he asked when he was going to be six. And so the importance of fractions, in my simple understanding of them, meant that we had to, of course, celebrate the half way point in style. Yes, we had birthday cake and sung happy half birthday! A tradition I would happily continue now that it has begun….any excuse when cake is involved.

Anyhow, back to my original point…there is definitely something about your child’s birthday and like the saying goes ‘I can’t quite put my finger on ‘it’! ‘It’ is incredibly difficult to explain and I cannot speak for the daddies for obvious reasons but I am pretty sure that for every mother, a child’s birthday elicits the same emotions for us all to some degree. I see ‘it’ and hear ‘it’ in both my mother and mother-in-law too, so I know it exists. For them it is perhaps a mixture of reminiscent joy along with a mysterious bundle of emotions for their grandchild that I am struggling to describe.

By this point in my blogging journey you have probably come to realise that I am a fairly emotional person. I do try my best not to fall apart in tears on a daily occasion (regularly using my happy tears laughing technique perfected by myself and my wiser sis), though I do find birthdays a bit of a stumbling point on that front. I tend to cry a rainbow of tears during the run up and on the day itself.

Maybe this bundle of emotions relates to the thought of missing all the lovely things they said and did when they were smaller. Like drawing the most adorable picture or telling me they love me more than I could ever love them. Or noticing year on year the need for cuddles slowly declining and the dependence on mummy gradually decreasing. Whereas on the other hand there is such joy and wonder in seeing all the changes as they develop and grow. Increasing in confidence, drawing even more beautiful pictures that annotate handwritten stories from their ever growing imagination. Knowing that when they say they love you, they’ve saved it for when you need to hear it the most. Our children are incredible.

As I’ve said, the culmination of all these emotions has a delightful habit of bursting out of me at various points during the birthday preamble. The most common starting point for me, usually a guaranteed tear inducer, would appear to be the cake creation process!…..

Every year I say “never again, next year it’ll be shop bought”. Yet, every year I have a lapse in memory and spontaneously decide to create a cake AGAIN! (I type this whilst shaking my head in dismay, when will I learn?!) Let me just say this, the pictures I aspire to on google never quite come to fruition…..hence the tears!! This year however when the cake decided to sink southwards I had already accepted its fate, that this was never going to be my finest masterpiece. I actually managed to smile at it through no tears whatsoever – success! I had masterfully convinced myself that Bubba would love it no matter what. Afterall everything looks different through a child’s eye, does it not? Needless to say, I won’t indulge what I thought when I finally showed him my masterpiece and he looked decidedly unimpressed before asking “is it mouldy?” …..

Anyway, back to the rest of the tears from the aforementioned bundle. After the cake debacles they tend to flow a little more loosely!

Easiest to describe are the tears of happiness, love, and pride. These don’t need further spelling out. You all know them and enjoy them and no doubt feel so lucky to have experienced another year of love, precious milestones and achievements. I also experience tears of excitement, purely for anticipation of Bubba experiencing his birthday celebrations. I’ve absolutely no doubt the above emotions stem from my own wonderful childhood memories of birthdays. The efforts my own parents went to and the beautiful cakes my mum lovingly crafted for me. Perhaps this is where my insistence came from in the cake department and why I have previously ended up in tears. I could only ever aspire to be the cake baker and decorator my own mummy was and still very much is!

The preceding happy tears are usually followed by what I can only think to describe as tears of disbelief. Now, I might not be quite on the mark here but I really cannot think how else to describe the tears that come with the realisation of yet another year passed. Where? Seriously! Where does time fly to? I feel I cannot emphasise this enough! How is it in fact possible that we nearly own a six year old? Yet it feels like only yesterday that we brought our precious wee bundle home from the hospital and proceeded to fumble our way through parenthood in those early days. I also wonder how I can be in such disbelief, seeing as it happened before my very own eyes! There really are no truer words tempus fugit, time really does fly!

I feel I need to congratulate myself a little now as I’ve actually done pretty well so far this year. I feel that I have had a little more control over my delightful emotions. I’ve made it through present wrapping, cake decorating, tea party planning and successful execution and a lovely family day out. I’ve now just got to hold it together, with the help of a little wine this evening, as I clock watch, continue to reminisce and lovingly display the presents in anticipation of a rather excited six year old waking us tomorrow morning.

I won’t deny, we did have some tears at the tea party, from the birthday boy himself though, not me! Hence the inspiration for the blog title. Who can blame him though, he wasn’t wrong when he said “dead fishes is a boring party game”. I would like to add that this was not my game suggestion! So on that note, I’ll leave it here and go back to enjoying the birthday eve excitement. I will make certain that I dwell a little longer on bedtime cuddles with my five year old before his overnight transformation into my even bigger ‘big boy’…..Six years old!! Six years old!…..I cannot believe it!……….Uh oh……here they come…….

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