In our family we love traditions. One of the best ones is the "Family Birthday". Your Family Birthday is the day of your real birthday (rather than the day of your birthday party) and it's a day where you get to do whatever you want, all day long.  Everyone else in the family joins you in each of the selections you make - where we go, what we eat.. it's all up to the birthday boy or girl.  It's one tradition we try very hard to keep and up until this year we managed to organise days off work and school for everyone.

2011 has been a little different. We had J away for two months and then a new job to contend with and in the muddle we have had some incomplete family birthdays. Today was my turn.  J left the house early and will be getting home late tonight so I decided to keep both kids at school/preschool and have the day on my own.  Jemima was really sad that I'd be spending my birthday alone. For her there seemed to be no worse fate than a birthday with no-one to celebrate with. I tried to explain that sometimes mummy's love a day on their own but she just looked at me and said "WHY?"

Despite telling myself that a day in the house alone would be blissful I did feel a little lonely. Usually birthday's in our family involve a trip out somewhere or a busy lunch with all of us together.  I had to stop and remind myself how fortunate I really am.

Fortunate am I that my birthday landed on one of the two days a week that are my child-free mama rejuvenation days.
Fortunate that the skies opened and winter returned because it meant that I had an excuse to light a fire and enjoy its comfort and warmth.
Fortunate that a bunch of flowers arrived from family just as I was beginning to feel homesick.
Fortunate that I have a truly good friend who always manages to say the right thing.

So that's another year down. The last 32 have been pretty great. I can't wait to see what the next 12 months will bring.

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