It was the end of an era as we celebrated my youngest son's 21st birthday. All my five children are now officially adults, which makes me feel rather old. Or at least, I still feel the same age I always felt, so how did it happen exactly?
Of course several of them still live at home, they know where it is cheapest!
We had a party with buffet dinner at our home last weekend, which meant Thursday and Friday evenings and most of Saturday were spent cooking casseroles, desserts, birthday cake, a roast leg of lamb and vegetables. We also tidied up a bit. We even put the Christmas tree away. Yes that's right, the Christmas tree. Only six months late. (It was suggested that we leave it up to celebrate "mid-winter Christmas" which is quite popular in these parts, however the birthday boy wanted it put away). We don't use the large front room all that much and I am a champion procrastinator. In fact last year I got as far as putting away the decorations, but the tree itself stayed up all year, which is something of a record.
We used to have a real tree which of course did get disposed of after a couple of weeks, but these days we have a synthetic one. There's only one thing more forlorn than a Christmas tree past it's best and that's a used birthday candle. The tree at least went off with our green waste to be mulched and made into fertiliser for people's gardens. (Very good of the City Council to charge us for green waste so they can mulch it and sell it back to us).
But what do you do with a used birthday candle? Sometimes we re-use them, but you can't really get away with that more than once, it would just look cheap to put a stub of a candle on the cake. Someone should start a business collecting up and recycling used birthday candles - you could melt them down and make new candles from them, or turn them into biofuel, or use the wax for batik, or melt them into weird statues, or something. Maybe I could melt them down and make little floating tea-lights.
I was one of those conventional old-fashioned mothers who stayed at home until the children were all at school, then found the work world didn't really want me any more. It took a while, but I think I've managed to re-invent myself and find a place in the world. I think the Christmas trees and birthday candles deserve that too.
We managed to spin out the celebrations and have a family dinner as well on the actual date which was Friday. Tomorrow he's off to Paris for a week and a half. It's too late at night for me to bother to link to the previous post, which had the link to the news article which explains why he's off to Paris. In fact I think it is high time I got to bed.