It was my birthday last week.
When I was young, I used to love it. The cards, the presents, the attention …..
Nowadays, not so much !! Birthdays represent another year gone. Another year possibly wasted. Further proof that I am no longer young. Increased pressure to admit that I am NOT actually forty. In fact, I’m nearer ff..fi..fif...fifty ! No ! Birthdays now, mean increased angst and mental torture …..
However, this year, I was positively counting the days to my special day because it was also the premiere of my daughter’s musical.
It had been on the calendar for a couple of months and so I thought it was the ideal opportunity for a party afterwards as an added incentive to get friends and family to turn up and support her. As it was, I needn’t have worried, as all three shows were a sell-out with people queuing outside for tickets and some even turned away.
And the show was amazing!
Eleven songs, all written in the last few months, one even in the fortnight running up to the show when she realised the second act just needed something. I can’t begin to tell you how much she has impressed me. The whole thing was fabulous.
During one number, I found myself crying - not just because the song was very moving but because I couldn’t stop thinking that my daughter, my little girl, had written it. Written the whole show. It was her vision on that stage. And she’s only 18!
And the kids were brilliant. They performed it so well - sang so beautifully and spoke so clearly. They did her proud.
And any thoughts I may have had that perhaps I only thought it was good because my daughter wrote it were completely blown away when the audience erupted into cheers and wild applause at the end. They were standing and clapping for the final encore and then there were sustained shouts for “author, author”.
She didn’t come forward at first and then, her beautiful blushing face peeped through the curtains to further cheers until she was pushed out on stage. At that point, I thought I would actually burst with pride.
And then, she started speaking. She thanked the cast, musicians and crew for a wonderful performance. She thanked the audience for a fantastic reception that she could never have dreamed of. She talked of how she had been sick with nerves before the show, even though she is so used to singing and performing. That this time, she felt she had put herself out there in a way she never had before. And then, in what seemed like pin-drop silence, she thanked ……me. She told the audience that I had encouraged her love of music since was a little girl, and that she loved me, and hoped that she had made me proud, because she wanted to dedicate her musical to me as my birthday present.
And suddenly, everyone was cheering and whooping again and I was part blubbing into Ewan’s shoulder and part laughing and blowing her kisses. And all the time, she looked just like an angel on that stage. MY darling, precious angel.
We partied long and hard afterwards and even though I can’t remember how it all ended, I know that it’s up there as one of the best birthdays EVER !!