Thursday 8 February 2023
We’ve had some good double birthday celebrations over the years, but, as I wheel out an impressively full blue bin (glass and tins in these parts) for tomorrow’s collection, I have to admit that this year’s will go down as one of the best…
Step forward Small boy for birthday number one. My son, gallivanting swiftly through his teenage years, has a very large circle of very sociable friends. A few weeks ago, he brings me a cup of tea (ever a suspicious sign) as a softener for this request,
“Mum…I was wondering if I could have a party this year?’
Halfway between me thinking about it, and struggling to manage an overwhelming workload for my boss, I appear to have agreed. I warn my lovely neighbours, most of whom just laugh and say ‘where’s my invite?’ I stock up on snacks and beer. And, come party night, I head out for a meal, with one last fond look at my new cream sofa, leaving a nervous Small boy hopping about the empty hallway, wondering when his first guests might arrive.
I am back by 11, and the house is pulsating. I hear the party before I see it. And when I do open the door there are people … everywhere. In every room, on the stairs, in the garden. And…it is bloomin’ fantastic! Tipsy teens, I’ve known for years, greet me with affection and the intense conversations and rantings that only alcohol can inspire. There’s music and dancing, there’s singing, there’s even ‘beer pong’.
I party along for a while then, grab a couple of Peroni’s and head upstairs to locate my middle child, home from uni land for her siblings’ birthday celebrations. We sink our beers as she giggles through the party gossip. We pop down again to serve pizza and cake and listen to a raucous chorus of ‘Happy Birthday‘ as the clock strikes midnight and Small boy officially becomes ‘Birthday boy’ and thereafter, leave them to it. Most guests are gone by 1:30 am and I am asleep by 2.
The next day is a slow one for us all, but, on the plus side, I awake to find that the house had been tidied and so, after putting the hoover through its paces and vigorously mopping a very sticky kitchen floor, we are quickly back to normal. Which is just as well because a second birthday is now only 24 hours away.
Yes, my lovely eldest child, on hospital placement in Teesside, turns 21.
In honour of this landmark occasion, I leave work on time (for once), call in at home to collect Prom dress daughter, stop at the sixth-form college to pick up Small boy and then set the satnav for the North-East. We are there by 6:30 for present opening and then head out for a fantastic family meal at a local restaurant. It is huge fun; great food, great conversation and as for the shenanigans with our ‘affogato al cafe’, well my stomach still aches from the laughter.
All too soon, it is home time and its is a much quieter trip back along the A1 and M62.
Exhausting? Yes! Worth it… absolutely. Brilliant birthdays this year…