Thursday, 24 January 2013

Papa Turns the big 40!!!!!

Yes, it finally happened. All the speculation and worry came to nothing. Papa turned 40, the world didn't end, he didn't suddenly turn grey, although neither did his 'life suddenly begin' as all his cards suggested - it was a normal day...

Well, as normal as any day can be which begins with Papa refusing to get out of bed or to see his own children. 'Leave me alone,' he muttered from under the bed clothes when I suggested that he should allow the kids to come and wish him a happy birthday. By now both were outside the bedroom door clutching their gifts and cards. I eventually got him to sit up - I used the same principle I use on the children, 'If you let them come and see you once they have gone to school then we can go shopping if you like... maybe a nice lunch?' We already had dinner planned in the evening with our friends, so I know that was taken care of and that, if the worse came to the worse, I had a good 8 hours to coax him out of bed - perhaps using M and M's?

The children were allowed in to see Papa - he greeted them as I imagine Queen Victoria greeted her brood upon the death of Prince Albert. 'Happy Birthday, Papa,' the boys shouted in unison - their faces eager with anticipation.

'Is it?, ' came the forlorn reply from under the duvet, 'Is it a 'happy' birthday?.'

The kids looked a bit confused, 'Its your birthday and we made you a card and bought you a present!'
'The children's present is a clue to my present,' I added jauntily.
'I don't want any presents,' Papa said.
Once again the kids were dumbfounded (which is not easy to do)

'Daddy made a cake,' piped up TJ, breaking the silence, 'I picked the flavour - its banana and chocolate.' TJ might have got away with this if he hadn't added, 'But we didn't have 40 candles.'
'That would be a fire risk,' I laughed. I soon stopped laughing as Papa glared at me.

Papa opened the kids card - which was lovely and then their present, a book on Digital Photography. He started to smile. 'Did you get me a camera?' I passed him my present, a Digital SLR camera. He beamed. 'I've always wanted one of these!' he said.

To be honest, I didn't have much choice in the way of present buying due to the fact that Papa had in previous weeks left pages surreptitiously open on my iPad on the Curry's Camera page - or on a certain brand of camera's website. The hints were palpable. He even left me his credit card to pay for it - unfortunately as a stay at home parent studying psychology whilst writing a book and a blog I don't earn much...
Anyway - he perked up after that and we went to Bluewater, which was a fun experience without any children in tow. Papa bought shoes and we had lunch. We were normal gays again! Hooray!!!!!
Then I had to end his idyllic dream - 'Come on,' I said, 'Time to pick the kids up from school.'
'Do we have to?' he said, 'They just remind me how old I am.'
And that dear hubby is the beauty of children!!!!!!

That evening we went out with our friends to a lovely restaurant and the children (both ours and theirs) behaved impeccably and slept all the way home. That evening as we went to bed, I said to Papa, 'So did you have a good day?'
'It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be - in fact it was quite fun,' he replied. Which I think is the best that we could have expected.....

What was noticeable over dinner was how open KC now is about his adoption. He told our friends son all about how adoption is really scary. You don't know where you are going or what will happen to you. You don't know the new family and you don't know how to behave. His friend listened intently and we as adults, listened but tried to pretend we weren't... Both to save his feelings and our own... I think if we had let him talk to us he would never have been so candid and we, as adults, add an emotional quality to what is to him, a simple fact of life. Children are adopted, they have no control over where they go or what happens to them. His friend turned to him and said, 'I've never been adopted... Yet!' We decided it was time to move on and the boys spent the rest of the evening discussing the differences between the major world religions... I kid you not!

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