My first baby, my little Asri, turned eight yesterday. For me it was a day of high emotion, for her it was a day of fun and frolics with her friends… which is as it should be.
For all the freedoms that come with being an adult, I would trade them in a heartbeat for the chance to worry about nothing more than which type of ice skates I’m wearing (Velcro is best apparently) or who hands the party bags out.
Ever since going ice skating with one of her friends a few months back, Asri has been determined to celebrate her birthday on the ice. And so it was that we found ourselves at Bracknell Ice Rink with a group of 10 screaming seven to eight year old girls (plus Eleni) yesterday. Not a bad little deal really (£15 per head) and minimum effort for me, apart from the need to skate! They had a 30 minute skating lesson, followed by a 30 minute free skate before heading to the “party room” for food, ice cream and cake. Asri looked so happy, and it was hilarious watching them all shuffle around, grabbing on to one another for dear life, as if the beginner next to them would be so much more stable! Inevitably there were a fair few tumbles, but they all took it with big smiles and got up time and time again to carry on. They had a blast.
For me it was a hard day… for a number of reasons.
It was the first time since my marriage broke down that I haven’t woken up with the girls in my house on one of their birthdays. It was heartbreaking to wake up on my daughter’s birthday in a totally empty house and have to content myself with singing her Happy Birthday down the phone. I must have sounded choked up because even her Dad asked me if I was okay (can’t remember that happening for a long time).
Still the morning made it’s way slowly along (with a little help from a great friend and some household chores) and soon it was time for my parents to arrive, in the nick of time as it happens. Five minutes after they arrived, Mum and I shot back out the door to pick up two of Asri’s friends and get to the ice rink (my Dad stayed behind to do my ironing, bless him!).
Owing to a notable (and very much missed) absence at the party, my Mum stepped into the breach and did her best to capture the party on my camera. She had never used it before and by her own admission she doesn’t mix well with technology. That said she did a really good job. Thanks, Mum! I did manage to skate over and grab the camera from her a few times, but the majority of what you see on the photo page is her handy work (plus a little bit of photoshop magic!).
Party over the girls headed off with their Dad, while we headed home to an afternoon of housework and grocery shopping. Not exciting, but it needed doing, it’s always much better with Mum’s help and it kept my mind occupied (after a fashion).
This morning (Sunday) I headed off early to collect my girls from their Dad’s house (he owed me a day from the previous weekend when he took them on the school bike ride). Asri hadn’t yet had her presents from me, Nana and Grandad and was dead excited. I’m pleased to say she was over the moon with the Harry Potter Studio Tour tickets I had bought her, together with the audio book of The Order of the Phoenix (also from Darren). Mummy was very popular! 🙂
Our original plan for today had been to visit the girls Godparents for the day, but we had to postpone the trip, and so instead we have spent a very rainy day indoors, painting money boxes, playing on the Wii and generally chilling out.
It hasn’t been the weekend I had expected to spend, but it saw my baby girl turn eight and I watched her smile a lot…