Birthdays Past

Joshua will be 18 in a week’s time, so I have been reminiscing about Birthdays Past, as he has had some pretty memorable ones : He was in Las Vegas for his first birthday as my best friend from University was getting married on the 1st March and I was a bridesmaid. Baby Joshua was upset by the flight and he did not settle very well in the Vegas hotel I recall. On the run up to the wedding, my husband was jigging him up and down the hotel corridor humming the Archers theme to him for some reason, to try to settle him down. After the wedding, we drove onto Palm Springs and had a wonderful holiday with our newly one year old son.

On his third birthday, he was lucky enough to be in the USA again, this time in Florida with us, his grandparents and my sister in law. We went to a farm on his birthday and held baby ducklings I remember and that night, we went to see an Elvis tribute act in a local hotel, and he danced up and down the aisles in his element.

As Joshua got older and larger, we stopped going abroad for his birthday and we had many family birthday parties as he shared his birthday with my Dad – Joshua arrived on Grandpa’s 64th birthday. Joshua will have stolen the birthday limelight from my dad, but never someone to enjoy being the centre of attention, he will have been happy with that. I can visualise us all in the snug at home, one year when he was more vocal, Joshua holding up the clothes that he had been bought, delighting in his new shirt, calling it ” smarty”! He just loved having the wider family around him and of course, the inevitable chocolate cake. I have photographs of what must have been his 5th birthday, with family all wearing fancy dress : Joshua was wearing his Shrek outfit with a spongy big tummy, my mum was Wee Willie Winkie and Dad was dressed as a professor in a gown and mortar board.

But his 13th birthday was particularly memorable to me: on 4 March 2014, Joshua had brain surgery at Great Ormond Street hospital to try to reduce his seizures. He was in intensive care the day before, but when he turned 13, he woke up on surgical ward. The nurses gave him a chocolate cake, which he sat up in bed to eat, but that it about all he managed on that particular birthday, although we had brought all his birthday cards with him and they surrounded his bed.

So compared to that, every other birthday ought to be an improvement and lets bring on number 18, we are on the countdown now.

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