Michael and I decided before Liliana was born that we wanted to make sure we celebrated family birthdays together.

Three things really influenced my decision.

The first was hearing about Michael’s sister and brother in-law always taking the day off work to celebrate each others birthdays and their daughters birthdays. Hi Ezra if you are reading!

The second was working on my birthday in 1999, it was close to 40 degrees celsius, lunchtime,  someone projectile vomited in the entrance hall, up the wall, on the floor, on the door hinges, and I was the lucky one who had to clean it up. I swore then that I would never ever work on my birthday ever again! And when I am on my death bed I don’t want to look back realising that my last birthday was spent not doing something with someone I love. A touch dramatic but you get the picture.

The third was working with colleagues or talking to friends who didn’t take the day off to spend with their children on their birthdays – I could see how heavily it weighed on their hearts and they told me they felt like they were missing out on important days in their children’s lives. No judgement towards them and no judgement towards you if you have been in a similar situation. We are all doing our best on any given day.

And so it was decided, Michael always takes the day off paid work, we celebrate birthdays together as a family. Of course we feed the animals and do any necessary jobs like that, they just get done together. Neither of us wanted to look back and regret missing Lil’s birthdays. Sometimes Michael has worked on the weekend to make up for the day off, sometimes he has worked overtime to make up the hours. I did extra chores that Michael would have normally done in the house and garden while he made up the time at work. We are a team.

Lil has recently turned 19 and I am so glad we spent every one of her childhood birthdays together. Lost time is never found again.  Until Lil was 10 there was a birthday party with her friends, then after that she got to decide what she would like to do. It could be anything from a day trip, going to the beach, having a friend over, getting her favourite takeaway, going to the movies, what ever she liked.

Some things are traditions though for all of our birthdays. No paid work, it is a day off for family time. We make sure to clean the house the day before and hang the birthday bunting and signs up. We pick all the flowers in the garden and put them around the house. The birthday person chooses what type of homemade birthday cake they would like and they choose what to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Last but not least we each hand make a birthday card for the birthday recipient. Michael does the same drawing each year, Lil writes the same thing in Michael’s birthday card since she was 7, because she knows it means the most to her Papa. There is always a black cat with a curly tail in my drawing.

This year for Lil’s birthday Michael was determined to make the birthday cake. A plant based Victoria Sponge with strawberry jam. He did good. Actually better than good, this man has some serious cooking skills, give him a recipe and he follows it with precision.

Happy Birthday if you are celebrating soon.

Sending Light and Love, Jude x

Birthdays at Fairy Wren Cottage.

February 23, 2022

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