My daughter went to so much trouble for my birthday this morning making cards, hanging up streamers. The kitchen looked beautiful and she had gone to so much trouble!
There was only one problem.
She became quite overwhelmed by this sense that I was going to be lonely spending the day without the family. Feeling almost consumed by this sense of my abject loneliness, she wanted to stay home from school and spend my birthday with me.
These were beautiful sentiments but there was just one problem.
I’d arranged to go out to lunch with my friends. We’ve struggled to get together this year and I think this might be the first time the four of us have managed to get together so it was pretty special and we’d booked into a cafe set among towering gum trees, a contemplative fish pond with intriguing carp and scrumptious food.
Mummy had plans and …awkward moment…they didn’t involved my daughter tagging along.
After much debate, tempers and tears we compromised and I took the kids and the dogs for a walk along the beach. I often talk to them about the various dogs and humans I meet down at the beach and so it was great to be able to share this world with them and I knew they’d have fun. While detouring to the beach on the way to school might seem a bit naughty, my daughter’s emotions have been quite fraught lately and I felt she needed that together time.
Moreover, despite being the middle of Winter with bitterly cold nights, the sun was out and it’s an almost balmy 16 degrees Celsius. It’s absolutely beautiful.
So, off we went kids and dogs in tow.
Bilbo was in his usual fine form ingratiating himself to other dog owners throwing balls and he has trained the humans to throw the ball for him as well.
When it comes to tennis balls, Bilbo is totally obsessed and the epitomy of a working dog. Every ounce of his concentration is fixated on that ball. One paw raise, ears cocked, he has absolute tunnel vision and sees nothing else. His entire world is a green sphere and even though we were leaving to go home today, he was still staring at that ball. Fortunately, once I mentioned “car” miraculously the spell was broken and he finally came.
Meanwhile, the kids enjoyed climbing over fallen branches and throwing our mate Spitz a tree trunk of a stick. Spitz was very obliging and did give it a bit of a chew and inspection but that hefty lump of wood wasn’t going anywhere.
I sometimes forget that my dog walking world at the beach has become my own private bubble inhabited by characters which the rest of the family have never met. I am there most weekdays just after school drop off and I meet virtually the same humans and dogs down there everyday and have become a part of that community…that world.
Having down the tough love, terrible mother thing and dropped the kids at school, I am about to head out to lunch. I am even going to wear lipstick so this is what I consider formal.
Meanwhile, I bought myself two bunches of fresh daffodils. My grandfather and I almost share a birthday and he once bought me a daffodil in a pot for my birthday. From my response, you’d think he did it every year but daffodils always remind me of him.
So my birthday continues. My husband wished sleeping beauty Happy Birthday as he left this morning. My present is on the kitchen table but I’ll wait til he gets home tonight. It’s nice to know he remembered. I almost forgot myself things have been that chaotic and over the last few years, my birthdays have lost the pomp and ceremony they used to have. I feel like a broken down jalopy who just seems to make it to the finish line each year and don’t quite have the zest and enthusiasm leftover for any rah rah!
Happy Birthday to me!!