If your milestone birthday must fall on a workday then working at a school is the place to be. Usually I go to great lengths to ensure my age remains a mystery. This stance provides many a teachable moment for students who are still working on their sociably-unacceptable-things-I-shouldn’t-ask’ filter. ‘How old are you, miss?’ is always responded to with, ‘a lady never reveals her age’. However, on this happy occasion I have been making allowances to let them know that in my world the view looks really good ‘over the hill’.
I must add nothing makes you feel more special than two full class ‘Happy Birthday’ serenades, a junior assembly sing-a-long, one staffroom birthday party with a rockstar chocolate mud cake (which will be talked about with reverence for many months to come) and a desk decorated with a banner and streamers. I’m also suspicious there may have been a secret email circulated due to the fact every single colleague I encountered offered birthday wishes.
On the home front, while homemade gifts from the children have historically been – how shall I put it? – special, gone are the days of waking up and being served a cold milk and butter-less toast breakfast. The kids dug deep and outdid themselves this year. The husband and I are all about nurturing the Arts and I would at this point like to give a sincere shout out to YouTube. My daughter’s fascination with a historical sewing channel helped her created a bespoke embroidered cushion. Likewise, our power-tool operating boy was able to produce some impressive tea light holders. Sure, the youngest may have unleashed his acerbic thirteen-year-old wit by writing this missive inside my card, ‘Dear Mum, now you are old. Just stating the obvious. Next year I will buy you a tombstone. This year I did not have the budget. I love you,’ however, the husband pulled through with a two-day pass to the upcoming Brisbane Writers’ Festival. I am excited to attend and absorb some fresh inspiration.
Add to this the stream of text messages from dear friends across the various States and seas, which kept pinging in my pocket throughout the day and I truly am feeling the love. As far as I’m concerned, some ages are just a little more special than others and I’m looking forward to seeing what this next decade has on offer as I sit more comfortably in my skin, embrace my foibles and confidently continue to use my voice.