It's the day before my 29th birthday. A somewhat anticlimax.
Birthdays are inevitably full of disappointment.
A grand total of 4 birthday cards will arrive on time. My husband, my children, my husbands aunt, and my father. You will get to know each of these people well over the coming posts.
I am, today, restrained to waiting in for the delivery of a birthday gift from my husband/children. I have been told that if I don't sign for it, I won't get it in time for my birthday and invariably as my husband does not drive (can't drive, won't drive) would have to go and pick it up from the delightful courier depot 20 minutes drive away from my house in an area that smells so bad I need to wind the windows up as I near it.
So, here I am. Waiting.
I woke up this morning to my middle child, aged 2, thrusting my mobile phone into my face with the dummy inhibited declaration of "mummy! phone!". This is the norm.
My morning has consisted of juggling my 3 preschool aged children's eating preferences, staring at the mound of washing up that requires loading into the dishwasher, left over from last night when I was out 'working' (I will explain the use of inverted comma's later.) until 11pm. Husband was in charge of bedtime and tidy up time. Children got put to bed, nothing got tidied and I had to cook myself and him a meal on my return. Hmmm.
It just so happens to be a gloriously sunny day outside. One that I would have loved to have taken advantage of before my eldest starts school next week. The summer has been shockingly bad weather wise this year (and every other wise which I will also explain later!) and it might have been nice to get out down the park, the marina, the beach, ANYWHERE apart from being stuck in the house.
Depression levels are already rising.
My father has requested the company of my husband this evening so it looks like I will spend the evening battling my children into bed and if I am feeling generous, wrapping my own gift.
You see, my birthday is often out shined for a number of reasons; years gone by I was always packed off to my grandparents house for the summer holidays and if the new school term didn't start on my birthday I would get to share it in the warmth and comfort of two people whom I loved deeply, unconditionally and who always made me feel like the most special person in the world. I miss those years and I miss those people.
Sadly my grandfather passed away 10 years ago and my grandmother has never really recovered. Part of her died with him.
In later years, my then partner would make the effort to make me feel special with gifts, but at the price of being deceiving and manipulating and generally treating me like rubbish for the other 364 days of the year.
My parents are unique to say the least. My mother lives abroad. She has done for many years. Divorced from my father since I was a tot, it is clear that she should never have had children.
She never remembers my birthday (or my children's for that matter).
As a child gifts would often arrive late at the blame of air mail. As an adult, I don't even receive a card or a phone call or even a text.
Strange that the mothers memory of a 36hr labour on the 3rd September 1981 wouldn't trigger the reaction of posting a card or even making a call.
My father, well where to start. I will receive the obligatory cheque for my being related to him by blood. I won't see him. Ever since he met his partner of 9 years I have never seen my father on my birthday. Her birthday is the 1st and takes precedence.
In fact, everything else seems to take precedence over my birthday when it comes to my parents. It doesn't really stop at just my birthday.
So. The burden falls on my husbands shoulders to make the celebration of my birth special.
He is crap with birthdays.
The knowledge that there is even a gift arriving in anticipation is an improvement on the past 5.
For the last 5 years he has never prepared any gift in advance of the day itself. Normally dashing out in the morning to grab the first thing that comes to hand, regardless of whether I will like it or not. And normally something that he would like.
My children are too young to understand but 2 of them able to say "happy birthday mummy" tomorrow will be all that I expect from them and it will no doubt fill my heart with joy and bring tears to my eyes as I will feel like the luckiest mummy in the world to be able to enjoy that moment.
Am I wrong to expect the slightest bit of fuss to celebrate my birthday or did my grandparents set me up to fall with notions of feeling special and it being 'my' day?
This evening my husband will return on the last train stinking of booze and probably leave something on the train. The last trains arrives at 1am ish and that is how the big day will begin....