My son was born on a Saturday. This not only means that, according to the old rhyme, he’s destined to work hard for his living (I’m glad to know that folklore backs up my plan to instill a work ethic in him), but also that his first birthday fell conveniently on a Sunday. So, the assorted family were able to assemble at our house to celebrate the day, on the day. This year, however, his birthday is on a Monday, which meant we had a choice between holding the family party the weekend before or the weekend after. The weekend before would be closest, obviously, but it somehow seemed like cheating to have his party before he’d actually completed the whole reaching-the-age-of-two job. (I mean, if he’s had all his presents the day before, what kind of incentive does he have to make it through that one last night?)
Fortunately, I never did get a chance to run that particular bit of logic past my husband, since before we’d even got round to discussing it an old friend of the family won some kind of Extraspecial Extremely Excellent Photographer award for his work (I’m sure it’s got a more official-sounding name, but you get the idea), with a terribly grand award ceremony in Sweden to which my mother has been invited, which just happens to fall on the weekend after Jamie’s birthday. The ceremony is hosted by no less a person than the Queen of Sweden, and the invitations were issued in her name, and it would seem a little unreasonable to expect my mother to turn down an invitation from the Queen of Sweden just so that my son can have his second birthday party after he’s officially two rather than before, so the weekend before his birthday it’s going to be. I am not one to name-drop, but I do invite you to speculate on just how few children in the world can say that the precise date of their birthday party was decided by the Queen of Sweden. Even indirectly.
So, this Sunday my mother and sister and in-laws will all assemble at the house for the second anniversary of the last day on which Jamie was enjoying intrauterine life. Presents will be opened, my husband has been preparing an amazing illuminated multicoloured jelly for his birthday cake, and a good time should be had by all. Meanwhile, prepare for another nostalgiafest over the next day or several, because, of course, the imminent arrival of another birthday is my cue to start musing on the past year, the further changes that have taken place therein, How My Little Boy Is Growing Up, and general thoughts on toddlerdom. Stay tuned!