When we had your first birthday in Lockdown I kept thinking this is fine. You don’t know what’s going on anyway so having it just be the three of us is more disappointing for me than it is for you or Dad. I think Dad was secretly relieved.
At the time I said it’s fine. We’ll just have to go big next year.
Well here we are. Next year. You are two. And this is another lockdown birthday.
Truthfully, you still have no idea what’s going on, not really, so the fact that nobody can visit for your birthday isn’t a problem for you. You can’t miss what you’ve never had. But it breaks my heart. I’ve been keeping the sorrow at bay with planning and optimism, but no amount of positivity is going to change what is going on in our world.
Your second birthday will once again be just the three of us. You, me and Dad. And I have kind of over compensated for what you are missing out on. I go big for birthdays anyway. At least I try to. A birthday is a celebration. Of life, of love, of joy. The fact you got another year older. The fact we are successfully raising a sweet, funny, silly little boy and doing so while stuck in a crazy world that doesn’t know up from down right now. A celebration of the best thing I’ve ever done, and a celebration of what helped me stay sane in lockdown. (Though that last one is debatable). So I have gone big. I chose a theme and I ran with it. Dad watched me, probably wondering what he has to build or how to get out of decorating, as I researched and planned. I discussed ideas with him but I think by now he knows me well enough to know that if I start with ‘I was thinking of doing; making; getting’ its easier to just agree and let me run. I’m gonna do it anyway.
Our theme is the theme of so many other birthday parties for 2 year old boys – construction. You love nothing more than watching the diggers and dumptrucks on the building site, and we are fortunate to live slap bang in the middle of several. Our daily walks consist of going between each of them in the hopes of seeing some action. A digger digging, a dump truck dumping, and on rare exciting occasions, a cement truck delivering cement. So I have balloons in red, orange, yellow and black. I even have some shaped like dump trucks. Your cake is a construction site, complete with mini vehicles and chocolate rubble. There is bright yellow caution tape wrapped around your chair. And a new digger – with screwdriver so you can take it apart – is waiting for you to unwrap.
I hope you sense that this is a special day. That it is a day all about you and that you are loved beyond measure by not just us, but everyone in your life. All the cards dropping through the letterbox this week are making you smile, even if you don’t know what they are. You hear the clunk of the letterbox and get excited, running to see what’s there. And you are becoming a dab hand at getting cards out of envelopes. And at tearing tape from the boxes your parcels arrive in. Though the practice from all my online purchases may have helped you there.
It has been a strange year since your first Birthday, but one I wouldn’t change. We’ve gotten to spend so much time with you, just us. We get to see every minute of every day of yours. We are there for every new discovery, new word, new trick. We have been exceptionally lucky when it comes to the time we are getting to spend with you.
Without you this last year would have been tedious. Life with a toddler can be repetitive, as is lockdown life. But a life with you in it is never boring. You make me smile and laugh every day, and you are a joy to be with.
Happy Second Birthday my little man.