This week my baby turned 1. Don’t ask me where that year’s gone.  Honestly? In a haze of sleepless nights, websites, family drama and a lot of WhatsApp voice notes ranging from ‘I’m on my way and don’t have time to type’ to soul searching, detail filled life updates.

My daughter’s birthday signified that every one of us has celebrated our birthday in lockdown this year. No-one had the fun-filled celebration we had been planning. The camping trip for my son’s birthday was cancelled, as were the climbing sessions for my other son, the weekend away for me and my partner (handy having our birthdays 2 weeks apart, not so handy us both being the same strong willed fire sign) and finally the family party for the baby. All cancelled and scaled down plans hastily made.

Even with 5 birthdays in lockdown I know how lucky we are. None of us have contracted Covid. We live in an area where lockdown means lots of walks on riverside lands and in parks which have included den building, rope swings, cycling and whilst all living on top of each other is frustrating, we are happy, healthy and safe. We are also surrounded by incredible people.

On Tuesday my friend and her children turned up on the doorstep to wish our daughter a happy birthday. Even though they were in driving rain with no shelter, nothing would keep them from letting us know how much they valued spending those few minutes with us. It was brilliant.

This year hasn’t gone to plan for anyone in the world. It will certainly be a year to remember (or forget!) and I’m very much hoping that next year, especially with the big 4-0 on the horizon for me, that we’ll be able to celebrate in style.

It’s not just birthdays to be celebrated though, it’s the knowledge that we live in an awesome society (run by terrible politicians but that’s a whole other blog post) where everyone we know has pulled together.

This half term support has been removed from the most vulnerable members of society in the form of Free School Meals vouchers for families struggling to feed their kids. Where the government has stepped out, small, medium and large businesses have stepped in offering free meals for kids. Strangers are cooking for those who need it and it no longer feels like we’re living in an era of ‘as long as I’m ok I won’t help anyone else’.

Next year, when we’re in whatever our new normal will be, which I’m hoping will mean celebrating birthdays with family and friends and not living in fear of Covid-19, my hope is we will still be looking out for and caring for each other. in my book, that’s definitely something to celebrate.