Birthdays for your children are super special days. I find loved one’s birthday’s a bit stressful actually, wondering what to buy and how to make it special. I’m an absolute rubbish gift buyer and trying to do something special always goes wrong.
Eva in particular is so hard to buy for. All she’s ever wanted is a chihuahua, so anything other than that has always felt like a runner up prize. No matter how hard we try. She also never has a specific interest that we can focus on and has the attention span of a squirrel and flits between activity.
Anyway, this year my darling middle daughter had started counting down the days until her birthday probably about five months before. There was no forgetting it and the pressure on us felt a bit intense actually.
Then in the lead-up, lockdown hit and it didn’t look like it would ease ahead of her special day. Of course, this was followed by the worry of her Nanny being poorly in hospital. Hearing Eva praying for Nanny to come home in time for her birthday was heartbreaking. I felt determined to make sure that she had the best lockdown birthday we could possibly have for her.
Lockdown gave me the opportunity to see her forming an interest in her Barbies again so we decided to buy a huge range of Barbie toys for her. We certainly went overboard but thankfully we found a great bundle deal on eBay and spent far less than we would have if we’d bought new.
Sadly my Mum passed away on the 5th February, the afternoon before Eva’s big 8th birthday. The devastation and shock were overwhelming. I genuinely didn’t know how I would be able to find the strength to give Eva that special birthday she had been praying for. My Mum always put everybody before herself, so I was determined to do the same just for this day.
Somehow I managed to put on a brave face and hold my emotions together. I took myself off for regular bathroom breaks for my tears and made sure that Eva saw smiling faces the entire day.
We opened the presents which took over my entire lounge. It looked like a Barbie city had exploded upon us and she was so thrilled. A little birthday tradition for us is to ask the birthday person to pick what meals they’d like to consume on their special day. Eva chose to have pancakes for breakfast with fruit, a McDonald’s for lunch and our new birthday cake tradition of a doughnut tower. I think we were all fueled on sugar that day – pretty perfect if you ask me!
We even had family facetime calls including a pass the parcel organised by my mother-in-law. Eva had a few friends come and do a doorstop birthday present drop off which was so generous. My mother-in-law also managed to have a birthday balloon delivered – she’s known as the balloon lady in our family!
Whilst tucking Eva into bed that night, as a newly turned 8-year-old, Eva whispered to me that it was the best lockdown birthday ever! I was then able to let all my emotions out in the safety of my bedroom knowing that my mission was over and I’d succeed in giving her that wonderful birthday she hoped for.
It still feels crazy that we now have an 8-year-old Eva. Time surely goes so fast.