THE mum-of-four talks family life in her weekly column. Today, Peta, married to cyclist Mark Cavendish, talks making the most of birthdays.
THIS week was Delilah’s seventh birthday. I love birthdays. Well, apart from my own.
I am pretty sure I have managed to hate every birthday I have had, apart from two.
There was a fancy dress party as a child where everyone had to come as something “letter P themed”. I went as a glorious peacock in a creation my mum slaved over.
And then there was my tenth birthday. I had a disco and wore black silk shorts. Other than a boy in my class having an asthma attack due to dry ice, it was sublime.
Apart from those two, each birthday I have disliked.
I am not sure when or why I began being anti my own “special day”. My mother feels the same about hers, so maybe it’s genetics foiling my celebrations.
I was honestly the most vile version of myself imaginable on my thirtieth.
Perhaps my issue is routed somewhere in a fear of ageing or just being a drama queen.
It probably isn’t aided by the fact I’m married to Mr Anti-Birthday himself.
Mark is pretty indifferent about all occasions which only highlights my need to celebrate everything to the max for others.
I think I have got even worse with celebrations as I’ve got older out of a strange fear that we don’t really know how many birthdays we might be lucky enough to celebrate.
But I know I must get the most out of every memory I can make.
This was magnified when I saw a friend of mine leave her two beautiful boys after a heartbreaking battle with cancer.
I saw her fight with every ounce of strength to see another birthday, Christmas or summer holiday and I vowed I would appreciate every single milestone I reached.
As I was blowing up balloons to fill sleeping Delilah’s bedroom so they were there for when she woke up, I was thinking about whether any of the kids would carry on the traditions we had created for birthdays with their own children.
Mark assured me the boys wouldn’t care, but I secretly think they will – or at least I hope they do.
I know Delilah will keep the fuss alive and well. She adores it and embraces us all coming together.
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We both like the noise and energy of a full house, the mess of a gathering of friends and the washing up that means we all ate together.
So I will continue to make our house look like a church all filled with balloons and banners, I will continue to decorate the house for Easter and stay up all hours setting up Father Christmas footprints because they make me happy.
I am lucky to be able to share these moments, I know that for sure.
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