Scarlett is finally 17. I say finally not because she was desperate to reach that milestone birthday like I was when I was her age – it was my most longed for birthday because it heralded my provisional driving licence and start of my driving lessons, followed as swiftly as possible by my first car – to this day the most exciting test I’ve ever passed and possession I’ve ever owned, filled with possibility, opportunity and adventure. No, Scarlett doesn’t really care about driving. She, like Davies when he reached 17 has her provisional licence but they are both yet to have a lesson or look at theory tests to begin the road to a full licence.
No, for Scarlett this landmark birthday meant she was now eligible to give blood, something she has been looking forward to doing since she first came with Ady and I as a very small girl.
For me it was a good birthday as for some unexplained reason I have never quite felt 16 suited her. I’ve no real idea why, I just never quite got my head around her being 16 and stumbled over it every time I had to say her age. 17 feels just right. For one whole month all four of us are odd number ages, maybe that feels tidier somehow. I’ll ruin that soon by becoming even again – I think odd just suits me better!
The day started with a birthday breakfast of french toast – always the better for using our own chicken’s eggs. This year they are laying so much later into the year and we are still regularly getting an egg or two most days. And present opening. Scarlett’s main requested gift was a waterproof camera for swimming with. There was also a selection of smaller items and a fabulous picture from Davies.
After much deliberation about how to celebrate the day itself Scarlett decided to go to Treasures of the Earth – a local crystal, fossil and gems museum. The kids and I had been before quite some few years ago but Ady had never been. It’s a small and rather tired place but has a real charm to it and was reminiscent of the places we used to go to when the kids were little. We were in there for a couple of hours and enjoyed it.
After that we headed into Fort William for lunch. A new American / Italian diner style restaurant had opened up earlier this year on the high street and we’d been keen to go and try it so in we went. Another ‘couldn’t have done that on Rum’ type treat. We had really nice food in a really colourfully decorated place.
Later back at home it was Scarlett’s favourite dinner followed as per tradition no matter where we might be by birthday brownies.
And maybe a glass or two of something cold and fizzy to toast the birthday girl.
We are very fortunate that we have always been able to make a huge fuss about birthdays. Ady and I have always taken the day off work for ours and of course neither of the children have ever needed to be at school, so the day is always all about the birthday person including food choices and how the day is spent. Of course on Rum the choices were rather more limited although we always seemed to manage something special and appropriate for the person celebrating.
It was lovely to say goodbye to 16 (which I insist never suited her!) and welcome in 17 with a very Scarlett day – different, sweet, interesting, fun, family-focussed, filled with love and laughter and all her favourite things.
Happy Birthday to our wonderful daughter.