Thursday, 27 August 2009

Past and Present

Yesterday was my lovely daughter's 40th birthday. She lives in Stratford on Avon and we went to see her last Sunday as we knew we wouldn't be seeing her on her big day. She was spending the day with friends as well as going out in the evening, so she was definitely celebrating. Later today she will arrive with her little girl and on Saturday morning we are all off to the Isle of Wight for a week's holiday. However, on Sunday we wanted to visit and take her birthday present and birthday cake.

During the course of sorting out various boxes with our imminent move in mind, I came across a suitcase full of memorabilia of my son's and daughter's young and baby days. You know the sort of thing - baby shoes, first teddy, Cub and Brownie uniforms, school reports etc. Knowing that my daughter's 40th birthday was looming I decided to pack up most of her "bits and pieces" and put them into a "keepsake" box to give to her on her birthday. I wrapped them all separately, placed a large plain piece of paper over them and stuck a label on reading "PAST". I then wrapped up her birthday present (a lovely Radley handbag) and stuck a label on that reading "PRESENT" and put that in as well. I then wrapped the whole box up in gift wrap and left with her on Sunday to be opened on Wednesday morning. She was very intrigued, as was our grand-daughter who asked what her mummy's present was.

"Whisper to me, I won't tell her" she said

"Promise you won't tell" I replied and I hesitated because you know what 5 year olds are like!

"I promise I won't tell" says she.

And so we left them on Sunday and when we rang her on Wednesday to wish her a happy birthday she had already opened the box and was very thrilled with what she found inside - all of it! The conversation went something like this:

Daughter - "I can't believe you have kept all these things all this time, but then I can believe it because I am doing the same thing. I love my bag - it's gorgeous. I put it to one side while I looked through the box".

Me - "Did Imogen tell you what it was"?

Daughter - "she said "aren't you going to open your present - it's a handbag" "!

So, bless her, she had kept it a secret for 3 days and had also kept secret what she had bought (with daddy) - she did well I think.

Among my keepsakes I also found a letter my daughter had written to Father Christmas one year, so I put it into a separate envelope and wrote on the outside "Now that you are 40 we think you are old enough to know about this - but DO NOT let Imogen see it". When we spoke on the phone she had not yet opened it but about half an hour later she rang me - "do you mean he's not real" she whispered down the phone. It made us both laugh. She had wondered what on earth was in the envelope and had taken the first quiet opportunity to open it. She said and she was going to show her friends when they came later in the day - "I suppose they're old enough to take it" she said!

For her birthday cake I made a gift bag with a "Jimmy Choo" label on it and made a sugar shoe to place beside it. Again, she was very pleased with it!

We are looking forward to seeing them later and then it will be all systems go to get ourselves organised for Saturday morning.

So, I will be away from blogging for just over a week and will try to catch up a bit on our return from Isle of Wight. With so much to do at the moment I will have little time to devote to blogging but I will try to keep in touch.

Anne x


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Lindsay said...

My brother, when he was about 10 years old, sent me a postcard at boarding school which read "Barrington is a wet pathetic drip, love from James" !!!! I have it to this day. It is now about 50 years old! I also have a letter I wrote to my parents after my first week at boarding school in which I wrote "My bed is too weak for me and my health and strength are failing me" !!!!

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Fikri - thank you - I'll bear it in mind.

Lindsay - how marvellous, how funny! I love reading back through old letters, postcards, cuttings etc.

Cezar and Léia said...

your petite fille is adorable!She kept the secret so well!
What a beautiful story dear Anne!
Congratulations for your daughter's birthday!
God bless you

jabblog said...

What a lovely present for your daughter - she must have been delighted.
We had to clear one of our lofts recently and came across all sorts of treasures which intrigued our children and made them laugh. I intend to sort them into four piles - one for each 'child' - and they can take possession of them.
Enjoy the Isle of Wight - I only ever see it from the sea!

Ladybird World Mother said...

What a lovely lovely idea. She must have been so thrilled. The sort of present that will carry on giving pleasure for ages and ages!! Have a lovely holiday. 'See' you when you get back... and take lots of pictures! xx

Maggie May said...

I can spend hours looking through old letters and keepsakes. I love reminiscing!

Pam said...

What wonderful gifts you got her! I had a lump in my throat just reading about it. I'm glad you had a lovely time with her. Enjoy your holidays.
Pam xxx

Jay said...

Sounds like a lot of love went into that birthday - how lovely for you both to have such a great relationship. And what a sweetie little Imogen sounds!

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

How lovely, all your efforts and the happiness it brings.

Denise said...

How very sweet and what a lovely idea for a birthday gift. You have a lovely daughter and a lovely granddaughter. Have a wonderful holiday and look forward to hearing all about it on your return.

Cynthia L. H. said...

What a wonderful Mother/Daughter story!
You are VERY creative!

fizzycat said...

What a beautiful idea for a present.