Scarlett is 18! No more children in our house, just a whole load of adults now. Of course Scarlett will always be our baby though, despite the fact she is often the most responsible, sensible and adult of the lot of us!
It seems this year has been filled with cancelled plans, foiled events, postponed happenings and lists of things which didn’t happen and Scarlett’s birthday could easily have been the same. There was an original plan to surprise her with a city break in Edinburgh to meet up with her best friend. We had the accommodation booked, the travel planned and even a draft itinerary including meeting up with more friends. That weekend will still happen and be all the more special for the added anticipation as and when it does.
In the meantime though December 6th still arrived regardless of the rules, guidelines and factors preventing us all doing what we might have liked to do to mark and celebrate a big birthday so we ensured we found other ways to make it a special and memorable day.
Scarlett has a huge environmental and ecological conscience and so is a very difficult person to find gifts for. Our usual method is creating experiences instead but obviously those are in slightly short supply just now. When asked what she wanted (and we have asked oh so many times over the last few months) her laughing reply was always ‘a dragon’. As in, something you can’t buy.
But what you can’t buy you can often make and so I decided to make a dragon. A rainbow sparkly dragon crocheted with love. Then I decided to make more than one and my ambitions grew with the pile of crocheted dragons into an idea of 18 dragons – one for every year of the celebrated birthday. I’ve been stealthily crocheting for weeks and weeks and stashing the resulting sparkly rainbow creatures as I went. In my online searches for patterns and inspiration I happened upon a most spectacular pattern for sale for a crocheted dragon to sit atop a globe light which I was very taken with.
I was so taken with it that I paid for the pattern from the designer (always nice to support creative people, especially ones as talented as this designer) so that I had something to follow in my crafting. As always I didn’t follow fully but it heavily inspired my creation. I decided my version would sit holding a moon so found a cordless light up moon to position the dragon around. It is not entirely out of character that my dreams rather run away from me and I bite off slightly more than I can chew and this was no exception. I reckon there is well over 100 hours of crocheting in the eventual pile of dragons that Scarlett woke to on her birthday – which numbered just 15 in the end as the final one was completed at almost exactly the time she was born 18 years previously – 1.51am. She has a promise of another 3 dragons to follow. I am taking a rest from the hook for a while though – three days later and the feeling has just about returned to the numb tips of my fingers from almost constant crocheting for the week or so just before her birthday!
Also on the birthday table were a game for her switch, some art materials, a bottle of elderflower gin, a personalised wooden box containing an engraved swiss army knife and pocketwatch. There is another engraved pocket knife to follow via some friends in America which is where I found the perfect one for sale from a small seller who offered engraving but wanted to charge ridiculous postage to the UK so I had sent to friends in the US to forward to us. Scarlett has seen the photos of it though. All gifts which are to be used up / consumed or kept for a very long time made either by us or by other small independent craftspeople. Definitely passing the Scarlett principles test!
There were also a couple of parcels from various friends all containing suitably Scarlett-esque gift choices which she was delighted with. And cards from family and friends too, along with fabulous cards made by Davies and Megan.
It was a gorgeously sunny, but incredibly cold day (my morning swim had been my first ever breaking ice to swim through!) and in the short amount of daylight the Highlands offers at this time of year it was already getting towards twilight by the time we managed to head out for the walk Scarlett had been keen to squeeze in to her day.
A magical frosty walk through the part of our lane which we call ‘Narnia’ at this time of year as it is often a little frosty pocket of winter wonderland. And then home for cosy family time back in front of the fire.
Dinner was Scarlett’s favourite ‘birthday pie’ followed obviously by traditional Birthday Brownies. During December we watch a Christmas film every day, holding a ‘names in a hat’ draw before the start of the month to work out what we’re watching. We usually vote out a couple of less favourite films from previous years and add a few new ones too but the date which never gets drawn from the hat is Scarlett’s birthday when she gets to choose the film – and pretty much always chooses Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas – a sweet little trio of Disney festive shorts, which is charming and reminds her of childhood.
I’ll finish with what I posted on social media as my tribute to our wonderful girl – forever our baby even if she is now a fully grown woman.
18 years of my crazy, clever, cool, bright, beautiful, funny, feisty, wild, wonderful, amazing daughter.
18 years of fun, laughter, love and learning.
18 years of walking by your side, often running to keep up.
The world is a better place for having you in it. Your bravery, courage, passion and Scarlett-ness will take you through your life spreading your joy as you go. You live your life more fully than anyone and are the best woman I know.
Happy birthday my darling ❤️ ❤️ ❤️