Becoming whole through family life. Desserts help.
Three layer red velvet cake with sumptuous cream cheese frosting. That’s what my daughter is creating for her brother’s fourteenth birthday as I write. Decorate the house with balloons and colored streamers. Bring together loved ones with wrapped and ribboned gifts. Dim the house lights. Light the candles on the cake. Sing Happy Birthday. The copyrighted version. Rebels. Make a wish. Blow out the candles.
Being originally from Pennsylvania, I have fond wintry memories of my December birthday. When our daughter, and first child, was a baby we lived in snow-less California. One December, my husband made arrangements for us all to drive to the snow for a visit. An ambitious and thoughtful gift considering our modest resources and our baby’s lack of enthusiasm for travel.
We arrived safely at our white vacation spot and ate our packed dinner in the hotel room. We were exhausted. I waited. We cleaned up dinner. I waited. We readied for bed. I waited. Finally, like a hurt little kid, I asked, “Where’s my birthday cake?” My dear husband fell speechless. In the midst of being a young family on the road with our first baby, there was no birthday cake.
I had a preconceived idea of what comprised a birthday celebration. Re-read the first paragraph. Over-reacting and terribly ungrateful, regretfully I blurted out, “I just want something with a candle stuck in it!” Since then we’ve found all sorts of fun foods capable of being the foundation for wish blown flames. We travel with candles.
Many times in life we can’t have it all or we don’t need it all. But it helps to know what is most important, unique, loving, and fulfilling in any given situation. Whether a candle is stuck in a store-bought cupcake, a cannoli, or an IT’S-IT, I discovered a candle flickering to the sweetly off-key singing of loved ones uniquely satisfies the soul.
Gray Stripe Earned: I don’t need it all. A candle will suffice.