However, with school age kids, all birthdays require special teas and birthday cake. I agonized for ages when I realised that my birthday is a Wednesday - my gym day. When I go to the gym I feed the family and take off, having my tea after I get home and we put the twins to bed. I worried that Georgia and Oliver would feel totally ripped off without a birthday tea, and then figured, it's my birthday, I get to do what I want, and I want to go to the gym as usual! Georgia will make me a chocolate cake this afternoon and ice it while I'm out. We'll eat it (and I'm sure they'll sing me Happy Birthday) when I get home. Everyone is satisfied.
And then I got up this morning, ready for a pleasant but not overly special day. And my darling children presented me with the cards they have been working on for DAYS. Georgia bugged David to take her to the Warehouse for some craft supplies and made a very cool card, and taught Oliver how to do one too. They spent a lot of time on them, and it really reminded me what IS special about birthdays. My children got as much pleasure making those cards with much love and care as I got in receiving them. And here they are.
After that excellent start to the day my Mum arrived so we could go to Glenfalloch (a beautiful public garden on the peninsula). She came in carrying a large oblong box, which completely mysitfied me. I couldn't imagine what it was till I unwrapped it. My mother is the QUEEN of present buying. For Big Birthdays she rounds up all the family to contribute and get something big. For me: a six line, 6.5m retractable washing line. (AND a post to mount it on, AND a bag of concrete mix!) Ever since we bought this house we have been meaning to do something about the inadequate washing line (2 lines, upped to 3) and my brilliant mother figured this was an ideal present. She was so right! I did wonder what it says about me that I got ridiculously excited about a washing line for my birthday. (I think it says that I am practical minded and not overly sentimental.) We then went for a very nice morning tea at Glenfalloch. I have to say, the staff at the tea rooms there were brilliant - they weren't open yet, but the extremely obliging lady from the bigger venue couldn't have been nicer about bringing down hot water for our coffees (since they weren't ready yet) and letting us in to have our morning tea there (despite the fact that there was a bus due any minute which was going to make them very busy). Very very good service.
So, I think I've decided that birthdays ARE worth getting excited about.