About six-and-a-half years ago, I was laying on a chair-come-bed with a bladder full of vimto, holding Stig's hand while we stared at the grainy image of our unborn child on a screen. We were expecting our third baby and I was already huge, even at sixteen weeks.
This was the first time were going to find out the sex of the baby before the birth so we were quite excited, but I knew in my heart it was going to be a boy. Sure enough Sam was happily flashing his tackle for his parents, the sonographer, and the three students in the room so we were left with little doubt of his sex. The bump was promtly renamed "Baby Sam". They gave us a due date of 1st June. Great, I thought, babies never come on their due dates so maybe our wedding anniversary (also 1st June) was safe...
Nope. I spent our second wedding anniversary in labour, trying to part with a 10lbs baby. 10lbs, 1oz to be exact, and believe me, that extra ounce is relevant. Every ounce counts when you have a baby that big. Around the time I should have been having a romantic meal with my long suffering husband, I was giving birth to a toddler.
The first of June is Sam's day and always will be. Yesterday he turned six. He got his first bike without stabilisers (that will be interesting) and he had a party with half of his classmates and other friends. This was the third wedding anniversary we have spent in Johnny's Fun Factory surrounded by shrieking children; not the most romantic of locations but ultimately, how can we top the look on his face when he saw his shiny, new big boys bike, and squealed with excitement each time another one of friends arrived?
Stig and I held hands as we watched him running about with his new toys, just like we have on all our kids' birthdays and at all of the scans when we saw them for the first time. That should be what anniversaries are about, celebrating the life and the family you have nurtured and treasured all those years (casually disregarding the many times of being on the verge of a nervous breakdown).
Finally when they were all settled in bed, we had the last few hours of the day to ourselves; flopped on the sofa, knackered but smiling, the same way we've spent our last few anniversaries. Plus, like a friend of mine once pointed out; Sam's eighteenth birthday will be our 20th wedding anniversary, and we'll have one hell of a party!