Monday, February 11, 2008

She made a few requests this year.

Our youngest daughter (aka - the baby of the family) turned nine years old yesterday.

Since I always keep a nice assortment of party candles sorted and organized inside a rather large ziplock bag within my pantry, naturally our daughter went to retrieve them and asked if it would be permissible to choose all her own colors as usual, and also to place the candles wherever she wished to on top of her cake. For the first time she followed these requests by asking if she could also cut the cake herself this year. Of course this was a swell idea to me, and I always wholeheartedly approve of such requests because it allows the birthday person to create a festive decor unique unto themselves.

Most years we make birthday cakes, this year she saw a princess cake deep within the grocer's bakery glass case. Oh, she wondered. Do you think I could have "that one" this year? Delighted with her selection and our subsequent purchase, off we went home to place it in the refrigerator until her actual birthday the very next day. She was delighted, and pink became her theme color of choice.

Hmmm, how do I hold this knife?

Since we are a family who loves to celebrate anything from the grand to the everyday ordinary, asking to cut her own cake was hardly a strange request, but it was fun to watch her cogs reeling when she remembered a sweet story titled "A piece for you", about a little boy named "Greg" who shared his birthday cake with his own family. The story was found in "Devotional stories for Little Folks" by Nancy Nicholson, a favorite book in our home (and with the grandchildren) filled with ever-sweet stories worth rereading, and revisiting again and again.

In the story, Greg was able to decorate his own birthday cake with animal cookies, and he was also allowed to cut his own cake for distribution amongst family members. Since Greg was but a wee lad, naturally his cake cutting skills weren't polished. With each slice he cut, he became deep in thought wondering which family member would prefer each little animal on their cake topping, promptly deciding with great mindful attention if the particular animal on top of the next slice wasn’t suitable for the individual he would be handing it to, he would instead carve it off with another small piece of cake and offer it back to himself. After all, a piece for you, and another piece for me seemed fair in his opinion. Lo and behold, after several slices, his own plate became one stack of wobbly looking layers of chocolate cake.

Carving around one of the Princesses

As I thought of this story myself, I sensed this was more than likely the very same thoughts coming to my own daughter's mind when I caught her smiling for a brief moment for no reason at all. I assured her it would be no problem at all to cut her own cake, and then added, just not like Greg did. Instantly, she tilted her head towards me, our eyes locked together, and soon we were in a fit of giggles, as if we were sharing a private little joke. Everyone asked what was so funny, but we didn't share too much more, something about a little story we'd read this week, and continued to giggle together.

What a fun time for giggling in unison, and then later watching how sweet she was with complete generosity in the serving portions she cut from her birthday cake to serve to her family members. Gosh, everyone thought they were dinner serving portions, and laughed mightily at their "slabs" filling their plates.

She chose well this year, rather begged for a princess themed cake, and was absolutely smitten with the four plastic characters decorating the top of it. They were the perfect size to include in her “Pet Shop” carrying case. Why not? Wasn’t Snow White perfectly suited to live in a forest of animals too? Why not the other Princesses then?

Happy Birthday Sweetie!