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Hppy Rthday

I am a bit of a Type-A personality and when my parents came up to visit Mother's Day weekend to celebrate my daughter's 6th birthday, I wanted everything to go as planned. Nothing did and the hilarity of it all is what made the imperfection, complete perfection. Not having family nearby has made me greatly appreciate the big picture--people matter. Everything else is secondary.

“You know Rita, why don’t your dad and I just bring a cake with us for Carly’s birthday. You know he won a dessert a month from the raffle at the KC Hall when he was lit up like a firecracker. That diabetic fool doesn’t need any more sweets. I’ll give you Jenny’s number, you call her and tell her how you would like the cake decorated. Oh, I can’t wait! Carly is going to love it!”

May 8, 2015 Friday

I walk out my back door on my way to pick my daughter up from school, when my parents pull up. They had driven six plus hours to spend Mother’s Day weekend with us and celebrate my daughter’s 6th birthday. They popped the trunk and began hauling out their luggage. My dad also pulled out a cake box. My daughter’s birthday cake.

From the trunk of their car.

My mother squawks, “ I can fix it. It just needs a little fixing. I can put it back together.’ She hands the box over to my dad like a live grenade and busies herself retrieving more stuff from the trunk. Admonishments and screeches are hurled at my father as he hurries the cake box towards my house, like a bomb needing to be detonated in twenty seconds or less.

“Why did I let you do that! Why did I listen to you! Putting a cake in the trunk! What was I thinking?! And, it had buttercream frosting. Oh my God, we are all going to get food poisoning. We’re going to get everyone sick!”

My mother is screaming at my father, while my father whisks the box towards my house, mimicking my mother and mumbling, “ So maybe the trunk wasn’t a good idea. We can get another cake…”

I creep down the walkway to intersect him, to get a good look at this cake.

It looked like someone sat on it and drug their heel down the middle, allowing an M&M waterfall to cascade down. Large divides laced the buttercream frosting, making the cake look like it was already cut into fourths. Candles were strewn about with half the cake smashed on one side.

The cake blew up. Literally.

My mother had lost her mind. The only thing she was going to fix was a drink for me later that night, while I made another birthday cake.

Who in their right mind puts a cake in the trunk of a car for a six hour journey? My parents apparently. Common sense went out the window when they were assuredly bickering about what coats to bring, should they stop at Cracker Barrel for a two hour breakfast, and did my dad pack his khakis. I knew my mom was peppering him with questions and he just said, ‘Fine, fine, fine’ and literally tossed the cake in the trunk next to the rolling suitcase. She was so annoyed leaving twenty minutes late and already hungry, she didn’t put up a fight.

Result: Smashed Cake

6:45 p.m.

My mom didn’t want the cake to go to waste, so we ate on the crushed birthday cake like vultures after dinner. She was clearly tethered to this cake.

“Michael, are you sure we aren’t going to get sick? It was buttercream frosting. What if the kids get food poisoning? Is there a hospital nearby?”

Takes two more bites of cake.

“Rita, we can save the M&M’s. We can just rinse them off and put them on her new cake.”

“Maybe if we just sliced the top off and made a new nine inch cake, it would still look good.”

“We can use the Happy Birthday candles. We can definitely use those. Those weren’t damaged.”

“Don’t throw that cake away. It is still good. I mean, it might not look good, but it tastes good.”

9:00 p.m.

I make another cake.

I use fresh M&M’s on the new cake.

I make cupcakes too.

May 9, 2015


My daughter’s 6th birthday party with friends from school.

After crafts, cake and ice cream, a little dance party commences with ‘Uptown Funk’ being blasted. All the girls sitting on bean bag chairs, jump up and start dancing. My 4 ½ year old son sees an opening and goes for it.

He pulls down his pants and begins to slap his butt.

Five seconds later, he is escorted to the back of the room and no young girls were permanently scarred.

I think.

11:30 a.m.

Headed to the kitchen to make more lemonade, I catch my husband singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to my son. Silas has a cupcake with several candles, smiling smugly as his dad finishes the last verse.

Three years in row. Three years we have serenaded the non-birthday boy on his sister’s birthday with song, dance, and dessert to appease the crazy.

Damn good parenting. Damn good.

May 10, 2015


Mother’s Day

My husband presents me with a muffin tin.

For Mother’s Day.

A muffin tin.


Circle the number(s) which best answer the question.

  1. He does the dishes and wants everything to be dishwasher safe. The new one is.

  2. He threw the old muffin tin away two days ago.

  3. He loves me so, so, so, so, much.

My son asks if I can put the Happy Birthday candles on his muffin tomorrow morning.

I am an educator by trade...

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