It wasn’t easy this year for me to think about organising anything for the froglets 1st birthday. The date and the lead up to the date stirred a lot of emotions I really wasn’t expecting. Flashbacks of waking up and him being missing, of him shaking with cold or drugs or both, his swollen little body, not being able to hold or cuddle him, guilt for dreading the date, guilt for feeling like I didn’t do enough in hospital, guilt for even having those feelings when we are one of the lucky ones. I couldn’t get my head around planning to celebrate the worst day of our lives. Sams arrival into this world was not a joyous occasion, it’s a date that quite honestly I wanted to forget.
I knew though, that to ignore the day completely, even though every fibre of my being was telling me I should, would be unfair to my little super star and as my very good friend pointed out, we should celebrate him and how far he’s come, how far he will go. Celebrate the year he’s had not just the day he was born.
I still didn’t want a large, noisy party like we had for the munchkin. I knew I wouldn’t be in the mood to be host, we had a big wonderful party for his christening and I spent most of that crying.
We all had work and school on his actual birthday which fell on a Wednesday. We decorated the living room with banners and balloons for him to wake up to. His new SmartTrike built and ready with the biggest circus coloured bow (thanks to his lovely godmother, Caroline) In the morning the munchkin was super excited, as she is for any birthday. Her mood definitely rubbed off on her baby brother who laughed and chuckled and wouldn’t leave his new bike or the balloons alone.
After work and a mini nightmare buying a cake with a photo on it in a well known supermarket (15 minute job took nearly 60, broken memory card, machine not compatible with iPhones, the printing at the complete opposite end of the shop & scanning of a photo 100s of times cause it kept cropping off the letters) we were all home together. Our wonderful friends popped round to see him, his fake but much loved Aunties and Uncles. He was so excited to open his presents, nothing like his sister who just rips everything open in one go, he wanted everything opening so he could play (chew it) straight away.
Gran and then Nana & granddad popped round for cuddles just before bedtime. We sang happy birthday and of course had the nightmare cake. He had no idea what was going on at this point & just kept watching all the faces singing at him. I’d bought some candles which were supposed to sparkle but just didn’t, which was a bit pants!
Before we knew it, it was bed time and I had survived the day I had been dreading.
We decided last minute that we would go to the park at the weekend as a birthday day out. Spend the day together. The day we chose fell on the anniversary of when Sam was warmed up, a much nicer date to remember. It’s the anniversary of the first time I got to hold him, when we could see light at the end of a tunnel, when we knew he was going to live.
We didn’t want to travel too far, Walton Gardens in Warrington was the perfect place. I grew up in Warrington and spent many a day there and have since having children. There’s plenty of places for you to pitch up for the day with a picnic, which we did, and a football. There’s a large children’s play area and a petting zoo and lots of other things to do. We wanted something that would be relaxed and cheap.
Our friends and their kiddies joined us again, the kids spent ages on the playground, or on their scooters and playing football. There was lots of laughter and smiles. It was a simple celebration which of course included more of the nightmare birthday cake. We had a really good day out, it was exactly the type of day we wanted to have. Even though we really celebrated him turning 1 on his unbirthday.
Thanks to my good friends Lisa for some of the pics in the park & to Caroline for the cake and present pic