When the father of the de Vries triplets turned 34, I said we would never forget his 34th birthday.
Now they are turning 34. The concertina of time tricks my mind.
I wrote this anecdote a few years later.
Lucky I’m such a hoarder. This little gem transports me straight back to that moment and I can have a good laugh at how upsetting it seemed at the time. I can also remember the 29 year old me trying to keep her head above water with no clue of what the future might hold. That future, now elapsed, has been both better and worse than I could have imagined. At that stage, we had not even discovered that Julia (Trip A in hospital) was cerebral palsied.
This is them at around the time of the tipsy tot incident. Michael was not even 3 then; he looks like a giant next to them.
I used to try all sort of things for their birthdays. I had read about triplets when I was pregnant and many said that they had hated the fact that in all birthday pictures, they were all photographed together, that they always had the same cakes and that they were treated as a homogenous lump. I took this to heart and every birthday, I made sure that as well as the group photo, photos were taken of them individually. The joint birthday party was quite hectic so one year, I tried staggering their parties; one from 10 to12, one from 12.30 to 2.30 and one from 3 to 5. What a stupid idea.
The next year, I went for different days; that was also exhausting. In hindsight, I’m not sure any of this mattered. Here’s one of the early ones; notice all the different cakes. That was thanks to my friend, Shelagh who was a whiz at cake making.
Birthdays became easier once they hit their teens; we sometimes did outings instead of parties. This was a picnic at Tala Game reserve.
This was a harbour boat trip.
And this was about a year ago at big brother, Michael’s wedding. They are all big now and grown-up.
It’s a rare occurrence for them to be together on a birthday now, has been rare since they left school. So weddings are when we have the opportunity for group photos.
Despite ups and downs, trials and tribulations, I’ve enjoyed these 34 years more than I ever imagined I would.