Death doesn’t really care for such things.
For a few weeks the kids and I had discussed how to celebrate their Mum’s birthday. I thought about a bit of quiet contemplation down by the lake or the three of us sitting on top of Dairy Farmers Hill where Amy and I liked to look out over town. The kids had other plans.
In the end they helped me organise a lovely party at home. I can’t tell you how many people were there as invites all got a bit haphazard, but there were a whole lot of families. I hired a jumpy castle and borrowed another (the kids thought it would be good to have two!) and we also had a fabulous puppet show. It quickly became clear that it was the kids driving the agenda!
People wandered from front of the house to back, some kids bounced on castles, while other children screamed with joy as they hung from the tyre swing. There was a hum of chatting and catching up and the whole scene played out to the background soundtrack of Duran Duran and Hunters and Collectors. It wasn't a sombre affair.
I think the greatest compliment was from someone who said that the party was like being at a festival!
There were school Mums (and Dads!), playgroup Mums (and Dads!) and a good collection of DFAT people too, it was wonderful to see how well everyone got along.
I think what was pleasing too was that Audrey and Eli, in fact I think all the kids, suffered no confusion as to what the party was about and who it was for. One of the Mums told me afterwards that Elijah told her (in no uncertain terms) that it was his “Mum’s birthday”.
At the end of the party we did a balloon release (the balloons disappeared into the sunset with messages of love for Amy written on them) and blew out candles on a big chocolate cake. It all went well and people cheered and shed tears in equal measure.
At the end of the night (a few Mums kindly tidied up the house to a level that I suspect was tidier than when the party began!) I asked Eli whether he had enjoyed himself. He said, he had had a great time but that he wished his Mum had been there. That was pretty much how I felt.
Thank you so much for those who came along (and especially to those who wielded bin-bags at the end!)
|Blowing out the candles on the cake|
|The girls in the pool!|