Grinning, Oli announces, 'We're having a birthday!'
It's as if we've just decided on it, a spontaneous idea. There's a fizz of excitement in his voice. I'm not sure how much he understands but he knows it's going to be special. I, on the other hand, am well aware of the impending date, it's my birthday after all, and I'm the wrong side of 35. So I'm quite happy to let this birthday go, ignore it. But there's such excitement in plans for cards and cakes that I must be excited. It matters. I begin to feel more about this birthday than I have about any in the past decade.
'Who would you like for your birthday?' Max asks me.
I think for a moment and tell him I'm just fine with the 5 of us.
'No, Mummy.' It's as if I haven't understood. 'Who would you like to come for your birthday?'
This is a boy who is meticulously planning his fifth birthday party. He wants to invite everyone from school. 'Patrick, Kai, Braydon' he lists. Then he asks 'Grandpa?' I give him a look - Grandpa is five thousand miles away and unlikely to make it over for birthday tea in April. He misinterprets my look.
'You know Granny Mot?' he says, as if I need my memory shaken.
'Yes.' I take care not to be facetious.
'Well, that grandpa..they got married...they can be the people who bring the cake.'
I smile but he's back to his list. 'Alex, Tommy, Lola...'
'Just us.' I say.
Tomorrow it will be just us.