Break for a birthday

It’s my husband’s birthday today. I love birthdays. His especially. Not least since he is my ‘toy boy’ . He is 5 1/2 years younger than me and at this point he flips from seeming to be 6 years younger than me to being ‘only’ 5 years younger! Though – as he likes to remind me – I will always be older!   He certainly never runs out of jokes about black and white TV and horse drawn carriages!

We start the day at 6am as usual with two cups of San Francisco pod-coffee in bed. It’s still dark outside through the venetian blinds. The corner of the room is piled with packing boxes. We move in a month and, being extremely experienced movers by now  (this will be our 8th move since we got together!) we are getting ahead of the curve. No frantic last minute ‘Christmas Eve type’ packing this time.

My husband has an early start at work and heads into the shower. ‘We can leave presents till later, the kids are still not up’ He says.

I can see his logic, but our family has a tradition of morning presents in bed. It’s always been important to us to start every birthday that way. It’s still important even with everything else going on. ‘No I’ll get the kids’ I reply.

When he’s out of the shower and dressed I knock for the kids. In minutes two sleepy, hair tousled, teenagers  appear in the doorway, present bag in one curled hand, card in another. We all get on the bed but my husband stands. He”s dressed for work in shirt and trousers.

He does the kids presents and cards first.

I wasn’t really in the mood for birthdays or shopping last week.  It was my daughter who insisted that we should celebrate her dad’s birthday as always.

Now I’m so glad she did. It’s wonderful to see him feel through each parcel to guess what’s  inside and smile with real delight when he pulls back the wrapping paper to find cookery books, video game, cotton long sleeved tops and cookware.

It’s  actually really great to have a change from the last black laden days. It’s life affirmingly reassuring to be able, for a moment, to stop mourning my mum’s last slow sigh of breath a week ago and instead to celebrate my husbands first sharp intake of breath 47 years ago.



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