My own comes, and goes. Another day, following its usual beat. I am thirty one years old, suddenly, quietly, with little fanfare or celebration.
That’s OK. I like it that way. Birthdays scare me. There’s little I can do about anyone else’s birthday– and so help me, the last thing I will do is allow my own fear to mess with and make light of the normal childhood my children deserve– but I can spend my own birthday, sadly if I wish.
And I do. I retreat, seek comfort and solace in myself and my TinyTrainHouse and miss my husband with a fierceness I did not know was possible. We have takeaway for dinner and blow out candles on a supermarket mud cake and I smile. My mum takes photos on her phone and I almost can’t stand it, I almost tell her to stop, because it just aches far too much- it feels like a dangerous copy, a silly naive thing to do. It feels as though those photos will come out just as blurred and desperate and resentful as the ones I took on Tony’s birthday were, the ones I took just before the After- the last photos anyone took of him.
I will never be OK with birthdays again. I do will do them, not only for my own sake but for that of my children. We will have cake and we will sing and blow out candles; but its far more for them than it is for me.
It’s not birthdays, of course.
It’s the day after birthdays that I’m afraid of.
In honour of me now being classified as ‘early thirties’ instead of just ‘thirty’, have this photo, taken at the #PBEvent recently.
It kind of just sums up the last year or so, yes…? I think so. And I love it.