Happy Birthday, Unbirthday and a Blogiversary

November is a month of birthdays, blogiversaries and unbirthdays, in our house. 

They are markers in time, vantage points from which to assess our challenges and achievements over the previous 12 months.


Happy Birthday, Unbirthday and Blogiversary 

I was pondering my own forthcoming special day, when I came across a beautiful poem by John Lavan called An Age over on his blog Poems from Reality

John writes about family life. His youngest son has Down's syndrome and this particular poem made talks of his fondness for birthdays, and creating them whenever it takes his fancy.
He muses that;

if you reckon
that every day is a birthday, he’s actually
at an age over six thousand and five hundred

I smiled inside because Natty does exactly that. Whenever a gift is given or received, she sings happy birthday to herself or the lucky recipient, regardless of the occasion. Any attempt to tell her it isn't her birthday is met with a very cheeky knowing smile and an "Oh yes it is!". 

This You Tube clip perfectly captures what I mean:




This month is also the 3rd Blogiversary of Downs Side Up. What a journey it has been and, like a third child, it has taken my full attention and filled my life, changing it in ways I could never have imagined. I am proud of what it has achieved, and I note too the twists and turns it has taken as it enters it toddler years. Perhaps I could even describe some of the experience of blogging this year as witnessing it's tantrums, as it tests its independence and finds it true way in life. Who knows where the next 3 years will take us all...

Read about some of the sights we have seen along the way, from Number 10 to Lord Mayor's parties, awards, campaigns and speeches here, in What Have I Done to Deserve This?

I felt quite emotional reading the very first post I ever put live here. I remember vividly the nerves mixed with equal amounts of determination. 
In Blank Blog Blindness I wrote;

"This is a feeling of wanting to get something much more important, very right from the onset.  Of wanting to create something that will lift spirits, give support, bring people together, raise a smile and encourage. Yet all the while providing practical tips and real solutions for the everyday lives of parents and educators who have a child with Down's syndrome in their lives. 


I know that some of the fiercest critics will be out there, 'in the ether', critics far scarier than the French teacher at my secondary school, who delighted in making you cry for mis-conjugating your verbs. 

So to any and all readers, I say that my words and opinions are my own, they come from the heart, which is on my sleeve.  And you can't say fairer than that."


I believe it's a useful experience for all bloggers to return to the beginning once in a while. It helps you remember your initial motivations and stay focussed and it demonstrates how far you have come when at times you might feel your words are powerless.



Peter Cranham and I at a BILD conference
November would also have been the birthday of our friend Peter Cranham, an advocate who had a learning disability and who campaigned for more Learning Disability Nurses. Peter was a man who enjoyed every moment, filling his life with friendship, acting, talks and dry humour. Sadly he passed away earlier in the year, and it is at this time that I am reminded to smile and enjoy my birthdays as the years advance, for growing old is a privilege not afforded to all. 

You can read my Poem for Peter here.



So this month I shall dine on an extra large supper of fish and chips and down a mug of tea in memory of such a great man, for that is the last meal we shared with him. I shall also enjoy my own celebrations with my family and I will take time to look at my blog from a new vantage point. 
Then, we'll just carry on enjoying the unbirthdays...

I urge you to try to celebrate more unbirthdays yourself. Find little wonders in every day. 


No comments:

Post a comment

Thank you for joining in the conversation at Downs Side Up