Saturday, September 29, 2012

The One Where I Learn to Let It Go.

I posted on Facebook earlier this today about my first complete and utter birthday cake failure.  Some of my dear friends and family expressed that they did not believe it could be that bad.  I am, admittedly, generally quite a good cook, and yes, I can rock a birthday cake.  Ahem.

Well, check it out.  It's that bad.

Yes, that is dry cocoa and sugar on top of a pudding cake.

Viv wanted a hot fudge pudding cake this year instead of a traditional decorated cake - my speciality.  Ok, no problem.  I am competent.  I make the cake, though it is a mite complicated and requires five different bowls (yep).  Except I forgot to pour the three cups of hot water on top of the cake before it bakes.  And when you forget to add three cups of water to a pudding cake, it doesn't work out so well.

So, crap.  I have to send Curtis for the store literally 20 minutes before the party is supposed to start (I waited until the last minute to make the failed cake because it's best served warm) to buy a cake.  I can't believe it.  My first store-bought birthday cake ever.

Perhaps the hard, dry "pudding" cake was the first sign that this birthday party was to be the one where I learn humility and am reminded that my kids' birthday parties are not about me.  I can get a bit wrapped up in the perfect cake, the most adorable favors, pinata that matches the theme, the perfectly clean house (before the party, at least...after the party is a different story).

Yes, this party was a humbling experience.  We had this one at a bowling alley (our first "away from the house" party) and only had a few friends.  Since I was ordering pizza and the activity was all taken care of, there wasn't a lot for me to do (except make a cake and I believe we've already covered that).  But still.  I managed to screw up a lot.  I forgot the specially-requested favorite potato chips.  I forgot the carrots.  I forgot the grapes, the candles, the camera, the plates, the knife to cut the cake, a pair of socks so I could bowl, I forgot to put on jeans that WEREN'T RIPPED.

But I realized as we were singing happy birthday to Vivian with her friend holding up six fingers for her to "blow out" and then cutting the cake with a random plastic knife a bowling alley employee scrounged up for us while another mom took pictures for me with her phone that Viv was having a ball.

She was thrilled with it all.  She thought the cake was delicious.  She thought it was funny to blow out her friend's fingers.  She beamed for the photos.  She forgave me for the forgotten favorite potato chips.  She bounced around the bowling alley like it was the best day of her life.

So what was my problem, feeling all inadequate and imperfect?  Ah, I let it go.  I really did. 

And it was actually quite a lovely party.