Sure am: I’m now 40.
I toyed with the idea of “you’re not 40 until you celebrate it” and ignoring it completely. But to be honest, I’m not that bothered about being 40, or being old. Got too many other more important things on my mind! So I decided to celebrate my big birthday on Sunday just past, by celebrating my baby’s 1st birthday.
Originally I’d been a bit put-out at the expectation that me and Mini Miinx would share a birthday to suit my in-laws who flew up on Saturday and departed on Wednesday, Mini’s actual first birthday. But it made logical sense, as The Boss would be at work on Wednesday. And I wasn’t bothered at all about whether my birthday was commemorated or not. After a lot of analysing why I felt so bloody grumpy about it, I came to 2 conclusions: I don’t like HAVING to do anything, and I didn’t want Mini’s most special of birthdays to be over-shadowed at all. But the most significant thing that’s happened in my 40 years on Earth has been the 3 minxes, so what better way to note those 40 years than to concentrate on one of those girls?
I’ll blog about Mini’s birthday separately; this post is all about Me Me Me.
I opened my presents in the morning and spent all day feeling quite overwhelmed with phonecalls and messages from friends, and the outpouring of love from my family. The Boss isn’t a man of words, but he wrote a lovely message in his card that reduced me to tears (not telling – it’s private. It’s not rude or deeply personal, it’s just a message from him to me). Thanks to Facebook’s handy note of the day’s birthdays, my brothers didn’t forget for once, and sent me messages that made me smile through my grumpiness.
I spoke to my Dad on the phone at night, round about the actual time I was born. He’d had a skinful because he was staying at his little brother’s, and they were having a great time together. Alcohol makes my Dad more overtly emotional and he exclaimed how sad he was that we lived so far away, and how much he wanted to put his arms round me and give me a cuddle. I made some noises about “I know, but we’ll see each other soon, it’s ok”. Actually, what I wanted to say was, “Me too, Daddy! I really, really miss you and hate that I haven’t seen you in a year. I’d absolutely kill for a big Daddy Hug just now!” But of course I didn’t say that, did I? Because that would have made him feel worse.
What also made me even grumpier was the fact that I don’t remember my Mum’s 40th birthday party at all. I’d have been 17 and still living at home, full of hormones and angst and parental-hatred and utterly, utterly self-centred. I’ve not cried over my Mum in a long while, but this past week I’ve really missed her. It’ll be the 3rd anniversary since she died on 29th March. I have some videos of her with Maxi Minx, just before she had a big stroke at the start of her first bout of chemotherapy, and just before we lost her as ‘Mum’ (her body lived on for just over a year afterwards, but with a different personality inhabiting it). I just can’t bring myself to watch them. I can look at her photos, and frequently do as our walls are covered in photos of our families. But to hear her voice or watch her move again would hurt more than I can bear. I’d kill for a cuddle from my Dad, so maybe you can imagine what I’d sacrifice to have one more hug from my Mum.