Other people’s birthdays have always been something I’ve loved celebrating, even though I’m surprisingly not all that worried about my own birthday. When Dean came into my life seven years ago (has it really been that long!?) I loved that there was someone who I would do anything for that I could spoil rotten on their birthday. Of course, Dean isn’t a massive birthday person either (we’re simple people really!), but over the years we’ve had a lot of fun celebrating his birthday, and slowly counting down to this year’s milestone: turning 30.
It’s hard sometimes for me to wrap my head around how much has changed between this year and last year. For Dean’s birthday last year we woke up, leisurely and relaxed, opened presents and then wandered ourselves off to the cinema to watch a movie. I made a lime cheesecake that I worked on perfecting for several hours. We ate it slowly, relishing each bite and then settled down for a movie and a cuddle. It was a great day and a lovely night, no doubt about it.
This year, our lives are changed by one key addition: Oscar. He’s a little addition, sure, but he has a pretty big impact on our lives, and by extension on Dean’s birthday celebrations. This year was also the first year in seven that Dean was able to celebrate his birthday with his mum, who flew all the way from England to visit him just in time to watch the person that was once her little baby turn 30!
So, Dean’s 30th went a bit like this: wake up barely rested after being up with Oscar most of the night. Become as presentable as possible and stagger downstairs in our best. Greet Shirley (Dean’s mum) and have one fortifying cup of coffee/tea. Open presents with a baby sitting in his lap. Say goodbye to Shirley and the baby for the first ever little trip away to see a movie. Comfort his partner who cried in the car like a loony because she was leaving her baby alone for the first time. Watch a movie at the cinema, while obsessively checking for updates from Shirley about the baby. Come home (at least) and have an indoor picnic while the baby sleeps upstairs. Light candles on a cake that Shirley sneakily bought from the shops, and blow them out with the baby on your lap. End curtain.
Yep, it’s a pretty different story from a year ago! Luckily, life is all about evolution, about adaptation and change. Seven years ago Dean was a carefree traveller who loved to make people laugh and sustained on tinned tomatoes and rice noodles, and was kicking himself that he’d landed a great girl like me (at least, that’s what he says). These days, he still loves to make people laugh, that girl has become his life partner, and together they’re off on the grand adventure of parenthood. Turning 30 is a milestone, but really life is full of those milestones. We can be sad about reaching them, and never having the opportunity to do so again, or we can throw ourselves headlong into the celebration of them, and relish what has come before, and what is to come into the future.