My most memorable birthday? The one when my son nearly died

I have my friend’s quick-thinking mother to thank that he’s still here today

Everyone deserves at least one day per year that’s all about them. Photograph: iStock

Everyone deserves at least one day per year that’s all about them. Photograph: iStock

It was my birthday a few days ago. Birthdays in this house are a huge deal, eagerly anticipated for weeks in advance, almost as much by the siblings as the birthday child themselves. That may be something to do with the “present for the person whose birthday it’s not” tradition that we introduced, never quite factoring in how many children that would eventually include. Or it may just be because my kids are highly excitable by nature and any excuse will suffice.

Similar enthusiasm is shown for their parents’ birthdays, and so I was reminded in the week leading up to it how many days were left and asked daily if I was excited.

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