Fiona Duff: My girl’s birthday and I’ll cry if I want to

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I know we all say that time flies, and even more so the older one becomes. Last weekend it was my elder daughter’s 21st birthday. I mean, for goodness sake, how on earth did that happen? Was it really that long ago that I was pushing her in a pram, or even helping with her school homework.

Witnessing children growing up is always a shock. I remember watching the innocent TV series Hannah Montana with her, and now that Miley Cyrus is all over the internet with hardly a shred of innocence or clothes. And I can tell you that policemen are definitely looking a lot younger.

Anyway, the complaint from the weekend is that having a birthday in May is a bit rubbish if you are a student. My daughter had finished her exams, but a lot of her friends had to have their face in a book rather than a pint of cider.

I don’t suppose it really matters what time of year one is born to have problems with parties. My son is born in July and every year we have been on holiday, so it never feels like a birthday. Gifts come in dribs and drabs before and after from our family and if there is a party it is a bit of a moveable feast.

My poor niece was born on Christmas Day so she has an official birthday (like the Queen) six months later. I usually forget that I gave her two presents on December 25 so she does do quite well out of it in that respect.

Anyway, the good thing about birthday parties for older children is that they don’t require a fleet of adult-child wrangles. Also they rarely end with half the guests, as well as the host, in tears because they didn’t win musical chairs.

Indeed, whilst my daughter may say that she wished that she hadn’t been born in May, it is much better than a few years ago when every argument would end with her telling me that she wished that she hadn’t been born at all.