My birthday is coming. My 35th birthday. This means many things. 35 is officially adult; at least it always was when I was younger than almost 35. Part of me wants to redefine "officially adult" as 40, but part of me wants to embrace this. My mother told me once that when she looks in the mirror she is often surprised because she expects to see herself in her 30s. I asked her why 30s, and not 20s or 40s or age 9. She said it was in her 30s that she was busy raising us and that is how she sees herself. She was full. She was happy. Not that she isn't happy, busy, or full now (seriously, I can never find the woman), but there is something special about a house full of kids. Of course, that something special is also a little like this, but mostly nice. My 30s have been my favorite age so far, and I have high hopes for year 35.
But my impending birthday also means that cake is coming. And you have not had cake until you have had awkward cake. At my baptism, there were no less than 3 cakes. No one has a very good reason for this; there may have been miscommunication or overgenerousity or a sale at the holy bakery. No one really knows. However, know this; all 3 cakes were consumed. Our ancestral line arches back into antiquity; long, awkward, and completely gluttonous.
Here is my 5th birthday cake; a little crooked, a ton delicious, and sporting a strange elephant candle. Plus, I am rocking that crown and the kitchen was rocking its 80s curtains. Perfection.
This is my brother's 3rd birthday.
Not a fork in sight and exactly what flavor is green?
I began my 6th year with sweet pink frosting and a complete disregard for self-control.
Year 10 was when my father lost his mind.
Let's fast-forward a tad; surely I will have learned some artistry or manners by age 25. Nope. Here is my 25th birthday cake, lovingly made by my friends. It was then dismantled by me and the same friends; don't let that fork in the frame fool you. We ate it like a pack of wolves; hunched over, with our hands, slightly growling. Husbands and boyfriends clinging to the outer walls of the room in terror. I have a picture of it, but, as I love my friends and love remaining alive, I have declined to show it. Picture it. I dare you.
Here is me at age 26, convinced that Super Cat needs some of my awesome Tasmanian devil cake.
Oh holy cats, we have kids now! More excuses for cake!
The Elmo cake was a big hit. And then we decide to serve Super P. the eye because, really, the best gift for any child is future material for therapy sessions.
Timing is everything with birthday cakes.
No, I take it back. Theme is everything with birthday cakes.
Age 1 (Super Baby) is the year Awkward Dad lost his mind.
That is a Whole Foods German Chocolate cake with organic chocolate shavings.
She got no other gifts as a result.
Do NOT invite the Transformers to your birthday party until you own a steam cleaner.
I am looking forward to my birthday and the new beginnings that it brings. I am looking forward to another year of parenthood and the adventures ahead. I am looking forward to being full, busy, and happy in my mid-to-late 30s. But make no mistake, I am most looking forward to the cake.
Hey, did you spot the 1-21 birthday candle where's-waldoing it in Awkward Mom's childhood photos? Do you know that they still make these? We are not entirely sure how we feel about the symbols that accompany each age. There is a stork for age 1, but we assume that is actually for 0 because what 1-year-old wants a baby for their first birthday? The teddy bear for 3 is fine, as is the tricycle for 6. The book shows up around age 9, OK, cool. Then there is a bike for age 12, yes, we can do that. It is the 2 entwined hearts that pop up around age 15 that gives one pause. The graduation cap for 18 is refreshing, and then there are a pair of rings for 21. A pair of rings, eh? Well, 2 purity rings seems a bit excessive, we were just gonna get the kids one each but I suppose 2 would really drive the point home. We are gonna have to ponder this, 1-21 birthday candle. We'll get back to you.
The best thing about cake is eating it as messily as possible.
Trust us on this, we are professional messers.