When I was a young mother, birthday cakes became increasingly more important. I remember being impressed by a neighbor who was adept at writing “Happy Birthday” on her cakes, while all my attempts looked pathetic by comparison.
During my fifth year of motherhood, I enrolled in that cake decorating course which I had written about previously (It’s all about the Cake). Now I am the recipient of cakes decorated by my children—the most recent being on my birthday this past weekend.
Dad and I went over to Kelly’s house for a birthday/Father’s Day celebration. We were sitting on the sofa chatting while the US Open was playing in the background. No one was watching Lily. Big mistake!
Suddenly, she made some innocent comment about showing me the cake her mommy had made for me, and after hearing that comment, simultaneous light bulbs went off in our heads. Several of us leaped to our feet. By that time, the cake had somehow been removed from the counter (how Lily reached it, I really don’t know).
Lily was walking ever-so-carefully toward me, trying so hard to balance my cake in her tiny hands. Gravity was winning, and no one was able to grab it before it fell with a crash, landing upside down on the ground.
We all screamed, and Kelly, who had worked so very, very hard to decorate that cake, and chef Lily, who had proudly helped her mommy by adding the sprinkles, both began to cry. While I was sympathetic to their distress, I could not help but smile as the scene unfolded. I admit I even started to laugh.
It really wasn’t so bad. The cake was in a covered container, so it was still edible. We placed it on the kitchen table and pasted it together with icing as best as we could. Although the entire message was undecipherable—Happy Birthday Grammy (I am sometimes called Grammy by Lily)—the word Happy survived the fall.
So we repaired the cake, added the candles, and then carried on with the birthday celebration. It was still delicious. We will always remember the birthday “When I was 64!”