Day 5: What do you prefer to do on your birthday?

Birthdays are big in our family – as are Mothersdays, Fathersdays, and holidays like Christmas and Easter. We have learnt how fragile life is, even the youngest of us. In my Grade 12-year we lost so many family  members and friends that I seemed to develop an anxiety disorder, convinced that I would be next.

© D. Puchert 1995

Every special day on the calendar our prayer is: Thank you for sparing us to another day of togetherness.

The photo alongside is of my fifth birthday party. We didn’t grow up rich, but my parents always managed to make our days special. My mom would choose a theme and have an awesome cake baked for me.

© D. Puchert 2008

As I grew up, I was a bit scornful of those kids who chose to spend their birthdays solely with their parents. I felt that special days should be spent with as many friends as possible. The photo is of my 18th birthday, a braai/pool/dance party. I love having mybirthday in the South African Summer!

© D. Puchert 2010

Since going to university, I haven’t been home for my birthday in three years. Nowadays I much prefer intimate do’s with those closest to me. They know that, so we all tend to make a plan.

This year I was lucky enough to celebrate my birthday three times. It was my 21st so I think that justifies it.

The first was the night before I returned to Cape Town – two weeks before my actual birthday. We went to a lovely little place in East London called Pier99.

 On my actual birthday I went to Buena Vista in Greenpoint, Cape Town, with a couple of close friends. A few days later The Boy flew me up to Johannesburg to spend the weekend with him and his mom. I didn’t take any pictures though, boo.

Birthdays are big in our family. Not always what we do, but certainly how we do it.

Life is too short to be small.

Benjamin Disraeli

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