Yesterday was my birthday. I’m the grand old age of thirty four.
Yesterday was my birthday, but in reality that means it’s a normal parenting day spent doing normal parenting things. We battled the f*%&!g fours particularly over dinner time. We battled the terrible (nearly) twos when it was time to leave soft play. We got up early, went to school, played, came home from school and went to football.
The day went on as normal. Except it wasn’t normal, yesterday was my birthday. Despite doing normal things all day, despite battling bedtimes, lack of sleep, heading on playdates and to soft play, the day was extraordinary in it’s ordinariness. Because yesterday was my birthday.
Yesterday was my birthday and my husband snuck downstairs to make me a hot cup of coffee for me to enjoy in bed as I opened bleary eyes.
Yesterday was my birthday and my four year old came running into the room to give me the card where he had written his name for the very first time. Where I was greeted with so many kisses I couldn’t even count them. Where we snuggled underneath the duvet together while I sipped on my coffee and opened my cards.
Yesterday was my birthday, and as I lay snuggled in bed my husband presented me with a present despite us deciding that we’d spent too much money recently. When I opened it I found the softest, warmest dressing gown ready for me to lie on the couch at night in. Cosy. Warm. Thoughtful.
Yesterday was my birthday and although I went to soft play with my littlest, my friend met me with the worlds biggest coffee with cheesecake to share. Watching the boys run around together and play somewhat nicely for an hour or so while I sipped on the toffee nut latte (yes, I’m still into the Christmas coffee) was perfect.
Yesterday was my birthday and when I picked my biggest up from school we had a candle in a donut to sing happy birthday to me. And he helped me blow out the candle. After singing happy birthday to me then times. Then lighting it again and again.
Yesterday was my birthday and we went round to play with friends in the afternoon. Where there was a cake and a candle. Where I had four year olds serenading me with happy birthday. Where I got big hugs and birthday wishes from new friends. Where knowing that putting yourself out there to meet new people results in making new friends who in turn become your expat family.
Yesterday was my birthday and as my husband whisked my four year old off to football to score five goals for me I went on a bike scoot with my littlest. Round and round we went. Always watching to see if I was there. Abandoning his scuttlebug in favour of being chased, of trying to climb trees.
Yesterday was my birthday and my husband surprised me with a meal out at The Torch, a revolving restaurant 5 minutes from my house. Where we were able to see the skyline of Doha, point out our house and enjoy a massive steak. Where the restaurant turned ever so slightly that you weren’t really sure if you were moving or not. A dinner where we weren’t interrupted by little people demanding our attention, or waking in the night. A dinner that had rose petals sprinkled on the table and a warm chocolate fondant to finish (yep I was up to about four cakes yesterday)
Yesterday was my birthday and everybody knew it because my four year old was so excited he told everyone he met. His friends, his teachers, his coach, the people on the street.
Yesterday was my birthday. An ordinary day that will always be extraordinary to me because of the love that was given, from my boys, from my expat family, from friends and family far away. Because of surprises and time together, of kisses and wobbly letter, of slightly out of tune happy birthdays.
Yesterday was my birthday. I’m thirty four now. Even though yesterday was my birthday, the celebrations continue, more cake, barbecues, friends calling round, if you can’t keep your birthday going for a week when you’re thirty four when can you?
And what a lucky thirty four year old I am.