I’m reminded by my friend’s recent blog post of the fleeting childhood pronunciations that our children invent as they learn to speak, and that just as quickly as they outgrow them, we parents forget they ever talked that way. Repeatedly on the occasion of his 3rd birthday last week, my youngest exclaimed “It’s sor me?!” (It’s for me?!) His sweet surprise was genuine, as if he really could not believe that this day, these balloons, this cake, and these few presents were all for him. The perfect age for a birthday.
Three years seems to flash by in an instant when there are three children to keep track of, all growing and experiencing their own milestones in succession. Whew! For me, birthdays and holidays are good moments for taking stock of where we are and where we’ve come from, and to be thankful for all that we have, and this birthday was no different.
We celebrated little “T’s” big day family style, inviting friends with their two boys as our special guests for a favorite pasta supper at home. T requested a “clone trooper cake” –something I wasn’t sure I could pull-off, so I steered him toward an “R2D2 cake,” chocolate with white frosting. I thought R2’s cylindrical body would be easier to draw with icing or make into cake form, if I felt up to it. The two younger boys helped me make the chocolate cake from scratch, not something I always do, but wanted to challenge myself to do this time. After a bit of shopping and recipe comparison I went with the recipe printed on a can of Ghirardelli’s cocoa, figuring that I couldn’t go too wrong with their tried and true cake. The batter making went well, the batter testers (can I lick the bowl!?) were pleased with their tastes, and the two cake rounds cooked evenly and without incident. I can’t say the same for every other baking endeavor that has involved the kids!
After carefully icing the cake, I drew the lettering and R2 design in melted chocolate–squeezed from a plastic baggie with the corner snipped off–my favorite “no tools necessary” technique. The big boys helped add some colored sprinkles on top, and the little guy could not have been happier. And I must say, the cake tasted great too!
Beyond the cake and the company, each present was equally exciting to the birthday boy, and the joy expressed on the receiving end made the rest of us smile, over and over.
The perfect age for a birthday.