Today is my wonderful husbands birthday. We have now celebrated 24 of his birthdays together. The morning was a little different to the 23 preceding it and we have both avoided talking about why.
Presents were bought and wrapped, cards written on, a special one from the dog because they are obsessed with each other. The clever dog signed it lots of licks and fights, which sounds kind of kinky. It was written in hand writing very similar to my own. I have to say this card got the most attention. Must have been the cute picture on the front that the narcissistic dog chose.
Coffee in bed was delivered while presents were unwrapped. All standard birthday practices. The watch he had hinted for was of course in the box, purchased at 4.45pm on the afternoon before. Eighteen reminders had been ignored as they beeped from my phone over the 2 weeks leading up to the day.
So far all is going along as it should on the birthday morning.
This is where things change.
Eldest child was home and had a window of about 10 mins to wish her Dad a happy birthday before rushing to get ready and leaving for work.
Youngest child was not home. Stayed over at her boyfriends place because it was the last chance they had to see each other before the exams kick in. Ah, young love. I had sent a reminder text about Dad’s birthday and she assured me she was onto it.
Now don’t get me wrong here, neither of the girl’s has done anything wrong, all they are doing is becoming the independent young women we have been raising for the last few years. They are making a life for themselves and we couldn’t be prouder.
I think the topic we have avoided talking about is, what is going to happen in a few more years when it is just us on the morning of these celebrations?
We have developed these family traditions, the singing loudly, everyone in our bed for presents and telling their favourite memory of the special person. It’s actually one of my favourite parts of the day. Forcing your children to tell nice stories about you and selling it as a memory and communication exercise. Gold!
We now need to develop traditions for just the two of us.
This was something I had never even thought about and I’ve thought about a lot of things. Well maybe thought isn’t the right word, I have over analysed, under the guise of being pro active about the changes that would be happening in our relationship as the kids became more independent. But these simple yet important traditions we have as a family escaped my attention. I never pictured a birthday, Mother’s day or Christmas where we would wake up to it being the two of us and no extras in the house.
So now the rebuilding phase starts. We will start to consider options for things we would like to keep the same or might like to change for these occasions. I personally will keep singing loudly, expecting coffee in bed and Scott will be forced to keep delivering his favourite “Lisa moments”.
I’m also looking forward to the new traditions we will develop as a couple and the new experiences we can have with our grown up children. I have some very clear mind pictures of beautiful lunches in amazing locations, all of us chatting and heads thrown back with laughter as we hold our champagne glasses. We are all wearing white and it looks like we are at a Summer house in the Hamptons. I may have watched one too many Diane Keaton movies. Day dreams do not have to be realistic.
So as we roll into Christmas I make a pledge to move forward, embrace the new and to honour each new tradition as it develops.