Handmade birthdays
Teach your child to be creative, and you’re doomed forever!
Scott Dunlop

It’s my fault: I enjoy nothing more than to sit down with my kids and draw, paint, cut, paste and play with sticky-tape.

We make houses out of tissue boxes, have dragon-drawing competitions and design our own comics and stories.

So, when it’s my birthday, I should know better than to expect some fancy Hallmark card.

The cards they make are always a surprise: Some look like ransom notes made up of letters snipped from (hopefully unwanted) magazines. Some have fanciful artworks of guitars, flowers, dogs, dinosaurs and... me.

Most often, I’m not much more than a circle with eyes and a smile in their drawings, just standing with my stick legs, clutching at the air with scarecrow fingers.

If I’m lucky, I’ll get a paperweight made from a rock with something glued onto it, or a beaded necklace.

Do I regret not getting the socks and soap-on-a-rope my own Dad used to get for his special day? Not for a minute.

The carefully formed letters and exuberant love, kisses and hearts on those cards are something I wouldn’t exchange for the world.

What do your children to surprise you on your special day?
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