The simplest of days...
A quiet but magical birthday with my little boy
How do you explain the concepts of dates and times to a three year old?! In my experience, you can’t! Theo’s birthday fell on a Tuesday this year, and thanks to some changes within our local education system, not during the school holiday.
Which meant it was always going to be a rather quiet day! We knew that everyone would be busy at school and work so we had already celebrated at the weekend, with a show at the theatre, a party with friends and family and a day at an aquarium (it’s more than three decades since I turned three and this is pretty much my perfect birthday weekend too!).
But…when you’re a mum, there’s something so bittersweet about your children’s birthdays, isn’t there? My husband is a brilliant dad, and he couldn’t have been more involved in Theo’s birth as he actually had to deliver him (I think that’s a story for another day though!). But he is still a man - and as such the dates and times and specifics of most events seem to pass him by. I knew he couldn’t take the day off and so my boy and I headed off for a little adventure by ourselves, just so I had some special memories of the day. Theo had no idea it was his real birthday - as far as he was concerned he turned three when his friends sang to him and he ate his body weight in chocolate cake.
We went for a walk in one of our favourite National Trust properties, Ilam Park in Staffordshire. We played a few games of Pooh sticks, clambered across fallen logs and stepping stones, muddying our hands and knees as we slipped and squelched through the mud and mulch. We saw the first crocus tips pushing up from the cold earth, and the very first blossom flower, alone and vulnerable but so beautiful against the backdrop of lichen and bare branches. We played in the ‘castle’, Theo’s name for the beautiful Italian style veranda, and met up with my parents for a hot chocolate and a slice of cake before pillaging the book sale and undoing all my recent decluttering!
It was a perfect, simple day. Nothing spectacularly photo-worthy happened, but I tried to capture some of the essence of my beautiful boy at the very beginning of his fourth year earth-side. Holiday snaps are lovely, and everyone loves a good recognisable landmark selfie. But sometimes you need to record the normal days, the quiet days, the days you turn three without even realising it.
Happy birthday, darling Theo x