My 21st birthday was miserable. I was in the middle of baby blues. My son screamed night and day. He was hungry and colicky and miserable too. His father was mostly absent playing pool, snooker, or at the races. I had realised pretty quickly I had made a very bad mistake. I spent many a lonely night watching from the front window, longing for him to come home.
I longed for him to come home because I loved him. And some help with our new baby boy would have been nice. We could have experienced the miracle and intimacy of it together – perhaps.
Added to that, my childhood friend just died on the street! She was not yet 21. She had had a brain hemorrhage. I was grieving.
The day I turned 21 was a joyless, lonely, low point of my life.
That evening I was standing in our lounge, messy with burp towels, a drying rack filled with towelling nappies, baby clothes and nursing bras, with collections of Gripe Water, baby bottles, breast pumps and god-knows-what scattered about, when the doorbell rang.
Sleep deprived and hollow eyed, (and husband-less), I staggered to the door, carrying the screaming baby over my shoulder and opened it. There was a hoard of smartly dressed people offering food, balloons and gifts, led by my smiling not-a-hair-out-of-place mother-in-law who had arranged this lovely surprise party just for ME!