Decided to write this, my first blog, about children’s birthdays – namely because today marks the day that one of mine made their way into this world of ours and changed my life completely.
Zero Three, Twelve, Twenty-Thirteen.
I started thinking of my daughter turning two today and how different this birthday would be to her last, where she liked the looks of toys but had absolutely no idea what was going on and toddled around in bemused wonderment.
Only a year later she knows her name, that of those closest to her, knows what she likes and doesn’t like and, most importantly, knows that candles are for blowing out.
That got me thinking of my own birthdays – especially those in childhood – and I realised that the same way I am incapable of remembering most of those birthdays, so too, one day, will she be…
‘How can we create a memory ?’ I asked myself.
Photographs is the obvious choice.
That timeless medium of looking back at ones life, almost as if through a magic window. A picture tells a thousand words, so they say.
But I read an article yesterday about an African tribe that sing to their children. (Stay with me !) Each child has an individual song – which they begin singing to that child even before birth – and it serves as a reminder of their very identity. Everyone who knows them knows it and it is incorporated in day to day life in such a way as to become a part of that person.
So my thoughts moved to what I could do, as a parent, as a person, to remind my child of who they are so that although they might not remember every experience, they could have some sub-conscious, tangible ‘feeling’ that they equate only with the happiest of memories.
I think if ever there was a time to make such a thing a reality, it would be a birthday.
“Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land” ~ JM Barrie