When the last candle on the cake has gone and the claps are a distant memory and my beautiful boy is the last one still singing… that’s when I realise how difficult it’s been. All the preparations, the presents, the cards and the excitement. It all comes down to this one moment.
This one moment, when the wrapping paper is lying discarded on the floor, crumpled and useless and my heart is sitting somewhere amongst it all. This one moment, when my son is happy and loved and another year older. This one moment when I allow myself to think, at last.
When the last candle on the cake is spent, I can let the tears flow at last. But just a little.
Who knew it would be the days after that hurt the most? When the birthday is done and others are looking to Christmas to entertain them next. And me? I want a little more of this day. I want another last candle. I want another birthday song. I want another present to unwrap and another balloon to bounce. I want to remember, to have others remember.
When the last candle has been blown out, I pick myself up from the floor where I’ve been weeping. And on I go, as life goes on too.