On Sunday night we were invited to a 40th birthday party, the theme being something beginning with A or as you want. The party started early 5.30pm so that families could join in with the celebrations. This was child 4's first foray into the local family party tradition, my mum had offered to babysit but I thought that he was ready and boy was he. DJ dad was DJing and he had headed off with child 2 or Aragorn as he was that night to set up at 4pm. Child 1 painted a white stripe across her nose added some ribbons and beads to her hair for an Adam Ant look, child 3 carefully dressed herself into a beautiful blue dress, winter boots and a white woollen wrap, once her hair had been plaited into two pigtails and a white stripe added we had ourselves a beautiful princess Anna from Frozen. Child 4 was snuggled into his alligator onesie and I back combed the top of my hair, added what can only be described as an oven scourer under it, leaving the rest loose, a red and black flower, thick black eyeliner, half a dozen fake tattooes a short black skirt, a black vest, lacy tights and heels and I had transformed myself into an older version of Amy Winehouse. What an entrance we made to an amazing array of characters. There were airline pilots, stewardesses, secret agents, a very scary looking Andre Aggassi, Annie Oakleigh, Audrey Hepburn, Alice in Wonderland, Charlie's Angels and a variety of angels, Ant and Dec, loads of aliens and army staff, even anarchists and Australia. The birthday girl was a stunning Aphrodite and her husband was an archbishop - fantastic!
The place was full of all ages, toddlers ran about, the 10 - 14s were outside playing man hunt the older teens chatting and later in the evening dancing, their parents caught up with old friends, laughed drank and danced, the grandparents chatted and watched, enjoying the noise and activity surrounding them. As a family we cover many of the eras under the 50 age group. As parents we caught up with old friends, child 1 was off with her friends, all looking really grown up, child 2 was outside running around with all his mates, child 3 was dancing with her friends and child 4 was having the time of his life. We needed to keep an eagle eye on him mind as he wanted to be outside playing man hunt and would take any lapse of concentration on his mothers part as an opportunity to make a run for it. Fortunately, he and his antics are well known and in the way of community life if I couldn't get there fast enough someone would scoop him up are waylay him until I got there.
It was the speeches that made me feel quite honoured to have been invited, this was 3 generations of family, family that oozed love and happiness. They shared how blessed they were with everyone there and that is something I carry with me now. Our whole community is full of families such as this, families that work together creating an environment perfect for children to grow in, perfect for mothers and fathers to thrive in and when it is your turn to maybe start taking a back seat it's a perfect place to spend the autumn of your years, watching what you have been part of creating, offering words of wisdom when required (experience is the best teacher of all) or just a lap and arms to hold a sleeping child as a party hits it's peak. I have never been one to worry about my age, it's something I have no control over and I do try to live and enjoy what I have today. I truly hope that I will see my children reach 40, there is no reason to think I won't, and that I will have a chance to celebrate with them and their children. I am lucky enough to know that as I grow older and hopefully wiser I do so surrounded by love, children and god willing lots and lots of grandchildren.
Thanks to the beautiful Aphrodite for he invite x