it’s my son’s fourth birthday. for the next few hours still, at least. we had a good day. he went to school, took in the obligatory sweets to give out to his little friends, and came home with presents and a ‘Star of the Week’ certificate for good behaviour the past five days. i sat at home in the cold while our boiler was fitted, wrapping up his presents and blowing up balloons – which is always harder than i remember it to be. and then he was home. he unwrapped his presents, his favourite being a build-it-yourself marble run, pipping the balance bike and transformers.to the post. we batted his balloons about the room. we had cake, and he blew out his candles. and i banished all thought that this could be the last birthday of his that i get to see.