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  • Gareth Ellis

Celebrating a birthday in lockdown

This Sunday was a weird day. It was the first time in 35 years that I’ve had a birthday in lockdown.

But I’m not alone though, there will have been millions who this affected, not only back in March but also across this whole year – including my mother-in-law and Rupert too.

Hopefully, my MIL had just as good a day as I did because despite the lockdown I had an amazing time. Yes, I could only see my Dad and brother outside, and one by one, and yes I couldn’t hug them or go out for lunch. But it was amazing, and here’s why.

My wife asked me before the day what I’d like to do. Now. I’m a fairly simple man and a family man at that, so I was happy to just do something with her and the kids.

My perfect day involved a nice breakfast – delivered by a local company Wrap It and Run – followed by a walk around Willen Lake.

From there I wanted to see my Dad and my brother before having a nice meal with them all once Rupert was in bed.

The only thing that was different of course was that, following Government rules I had to see them both outside, one by one and I couldn’t have them inside the house so dinner was off the table (no pun intended).

Also, either side of my birthday I couldn’t see my extended family, which also sucked, but they made up for it by singing a very sweet happy birthday on a video call.

Jess really did make it one of the best birthdays, and not through some elaborate gestures or spending too much money, but by working her bum off to give me the perfect day given the circumstances. And that’s all we can do right now, make the best of the cards we’ve been dealt and support each other, and promise that when we’re out we’ll have a big celebration!

Rupert is going to have to celebrate his second birthday in lockdown on Monday and it doesn’t suck so much for him as it’s unlikely he will remember it. It sucks for his grandparents, auntie, uncles and our friends who can’t see him on, or close to the day, give him his presents and a big hug too.

Having children has reminded me of the simple joy that a child can bring to people, and if you’re part of creating that joy it’s infectious.

So to those who are missing out on Rupert’s big little day, I can assure you that once this is all over I’m sure you can dish out all of those pent up hugs to him and he’ll love it.

Fingers crossed we don’t have to think about this at Christmas.

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