A ‘Smashing’ Birthday!

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“You can rely on boys to make even the most static of objects into a dangerous missile.”

I’m 44 today! Some looked to me apologetically this morning  and whispered ‘ Happy Birthday, kindly keeping the ‘secret’ from others at the school gate, whilst others offered me a ‘way out’ – ’21 again today eh!?’ and some, like my oldest son, kindly pointed out that I am just 6 years from 50 and therefore almost half way through the abacus of life!

“Mathematics Lesson” by photostockIt was Jack, our middle son, who once realised that the extent of our lives is perfectly illustrated on a frame of colourful beads and there is nothing more sobering than when he whizzes through the lines showing us how long we, at best, have left! But I am proud to be 44! Granted, I was a little disappointed that I thought I was 43 and lost a year in the blink of an eye, but proud to have reached 44 and not died! When friends and family bemoan their next milestone I always find myself thinking that it really IS better than the alternative, of not having reached that milestone at all! So, today, I am proud to be 44 and beginning the climb back down the mountain having enjoyed the view from the top! But…there are advantages of being ‘over the hill’…it’s easier going down…less puffing and panting and more slipping and sliding! You have a clearer perspective on the way back down…

My birthday frisbee!

My birthday frisbee!

Our youngest Tom woke me up this morning asking,

‘Mummy, have you forgotten what I made at art club yesterday?’

‘No’ I answered kindly, ‘of course I haven’t! It was beautiful!!’
‘Pleeeeaase tell me you HAVE forgotten because I want to give it to you for your birthday!’
‘Tom, what was it that you made at Art club yesterday? I can’t remember what it was..’
‘Brilliant!! I KNEW you’d forget what I made!!’

‘Happy Birthday Mum!!’ he grinned, presenting me yesterday’s coaster made from wonky foam mosaic squares.

‘Wow! A coaster! Thank you!’

‘No, it’s a frisbee!’ at which point he demonstrated how well it flew and so my birthday began!

A lesson I have learned…

“You can rely on boys to make even the most static of objects into a dangerous missile.”

Do not be fooled as you raise your boys that you are safe. Even on the morning of your 44th birthday.

Jack (8) made me a fruit smoothy (and destroyed the kitchen in the process). ‘I’ve used my bullet!’ he announced proudly. I am sure that it was the danger wrapped within the name ‘nutribullet’ that led him to put this miniature model of the London Shard in his Christmas list!  It was served in our last remaining crystal champagne glass! Every birthday we get it out for the child celebrating – and today it was my go (a big kid)! Every year, it balances precariously on our breakfast table, only today it didn’t. As I turned to stop a paper aeroplane envelope from flying into the fire I knocked it, smashing it neatly into three sections! Jack, the pilot of the plane, burst into a flood of tears.

.A homemade smoothy in our last remaining crystal glass...

.A homemade smoothy in our last remaining crystal glass…

He is sensitive at the best of the best of times, and the memories attached the glass mean more to him than most.  We sat down together, in the middle of our wrapping paper mountain, and I told him the story of my amazing Nanna Judy…She’d  been given three colourful pyrex bowls as a wedding present in the 1920’s (how times change!) they’d travelled with her when she emigrated to Canada and back to England when they returned to their homeland. As a little girl I’d made her a jelly and accidentally dropped one of bowls, smashing it to smithereens! I froze in terror and was shocked to see her throw her head back and laugh… not angry at the smashed china, but tickled by the jelly in Grandad’s slippers. ‘Things aren’t important’ she’d said simply. ‘You can’t take them with you when you go’ she added. And how right she was. I told Jack the same thing this morning and we laughed at the ‘new crystal cup’ that we’d created! We decided to keep the top part and, each year, from now on (until we smash that!) we’ll remember the lesson that their Gt Nanny taught their clumsy mum that I in turn, shared with my children.

As a mum of boys I have a spectacular collection of repaired frames, armless ornaments and now, a stemless crystal glass! All of which will be priceless reminders of the days we were raising boys!

Photo Credit: Thank you to freedigitalphotos.net for the photo of the little boy with an abacus. ‘Mathematics Lesson’ by photostock.
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