Lifedays …


Tiger is still singing Happy Birthday to herself one week on.

I wrote this for her, for next year.


On the day after Tiger’s third birthday, she woke up full of clouds.

She wanted it to be her birthday again.

Her birthday had been marvellous. There had been ice cream.

There had been new shoes.

There had been a quoll. She had named him “Happy birthday”.

There had been friends and grandparents and twirling in circles and laughing.

She wanted it to be her birthday again today.

But today was just an ordinary day.

She drooped down to breakfast. She sighed and she flumped.

And her mummy asked, “What’s wrong, Dearheart?”

And Tiger told her. And her mother looked sad. But then she smiled,

And she said,

“You’re right, Tiger. There is only one birthday, every year, for you,

But there are three hundred and sixty four lifedays.

Some years, there are three hundred and sixty five.”

“What’s a lifeday?” asked Tiger, confused.

And so her mummy told her.

“Birthdays celebrate the day when you were born.

Lifedays celebrate being alive.

They might not have new toys or shoes or ice cream,

But they have the smell of toast,

And they have sunshine,

And they have bouncing,

And they have swings, and slides,

And mountains,

And rain,

And fresh strawberries,

And running down hills,

And holding hands,

And smiles,

And cuddles, and dances,

And starlight,

And sleepy stories.

And dreams.

And the best part about them is that you get to wake up every day,

And know you’re alive and it’s a lifeday and it’s not only yours,

Like a birthday is.

It’s everybody’s. You share it with every other single person on Earth.”

Tiger thought for a moment, and then she said,

“Could there be twirling in circles, on a lifeday?”

And her mummy nodded, and said,

“Yes, there can be twirling in circles.”

And so that was exactly what they did.

And the next day, they woke up and did it again.