Yesterday my daughter turned sixteen. She’s the second oldest in official age order in our brood, yet she is sooo much older and wiser than the rest of us. I’ve always said she could run a small country…okay, it would be a dictatorship, but a really well organized one. She is a stunner. In every way, inside and out. Accuse me of bragging about my kid, I don’t care. It’s not me or her dad that I’m crediting, rather that undeniably unique sparkle that is her.
You know, the coolest thing about having a whole schwack of kids is that you are eventually faced with the fact, that…YOU as a parent…are such a small part of who they are. Don’t get all defensive and ‘helicopter-crazy-ass-parent’ on me! Tis’ truth. Upon entering this world, the endless comparisons begin. Each likeness designated to a parent, a sibling, or a long lost aunt. Scrutinize away…it doesn’t change the fact that they are themselves, immediately. As parents and caregivers, we can guide them, advise them and absolutely love them…but the choices they ultimately make are based on who they really are. I love that. Let. It. Go.
Cayra is a deep well, the surface reveals just a hint of all that is within. If I grow up, I want to be more like her, posessing an intensely clear sense of who she is and what she wants. At sixteen I was a hot mess, seriously could have used a level-headed friend like Cay. Her astute advice would have been enlightening, no question. Celebrations are as important to her as they are to me, I wanted to show my admiration, this one needed be momentous.
The day before the B-day was ‘cake baking’ day. It was imperative that the cake was not only tasty but a showpiece. Birthday Girl is a baker and has decidedly elaborate tastes. So I went all multi-colour-candy-filled-Pinterest-deranged on it. (Sweet Tooth for instructions). Just having to bake the cake would have been OK, that’s not real life is it? At the same time I was supervising my 9 year old’s science project and prepping some of the dishes for the East Indian inspired buffet. (Curried Away for recipes). Since our relocation I have been blessed with a 10′ x 4′ kitchen island…good thing! Picture one end covered in cilantro, peppers, limes, cans of tomatoes, coconut milk & chick peas. The other with my giant Kitchen Aid mixer, cake flour, eggs, milk, food colouring…and a glue gun? Yeah, a glue gun… because right below all the party prep is the science diorama on the floor, complete with plaster animal, faux bamboo and all sorts of various greenery dragged in from the backyard. Not exactly the pristine setting of a cooking show from the Food Network!. I’m actually mystified at the lack of cross contamination…slice of curry cake anyone? That night:
- All 5 multi-coloured cakes made it into the downstairs fridge. Sweet!
- Chicken wings were happily marinating in their tandoori sauce beside the bowl of freshly made raita. Yum!
- Plaster Monkey/Panda cross was sitting in his new environment awaiting the trek to school in the morning. Whoot!
- Flowers & balloons were ordered, for that humiliating/attention getting high school afternoon delivery. Nice!
- Local radio station contacted and notified of said birthday girl’s sweet 16. Alright!
B-Day, the final countdown. All six offspring and one successful diorama delivered to various schools, time to get down to the final touches. Cakes, minus one layer, were just right and ready to assemble. More chopping, spicing and frying for dinner. It was all going just swimmingly…until I looked at the clock. You see, if Cayra had arranged this, she wouldn’t have left quite so much to the last minute. She would have remembered that on Friday afternoons, school pick up is at 1:30 not 2:30, and that she had said she would be the parent to take her daughter to her Learners test right after school. Oh crap…
Wishes, as they were, often come true in ways we just don’t expect. Just as I was about to melt into a little flour covered heap on the floor, my “perfect birthday” wish was granted! In the form of a tall, lanky 17 year old accompanied by his lovely girlfriend. My oldest son finished early for the day, home to get lunch. Just like that I mobilized my modest but benevolent troupe and everything…well nearly everything was complete before I had to go fetch the rest of the tribe!
The remarkable evening was a direct contrast to the insanity of the preparations. Cay passed her learners test, we even fit in a quick first drive to the studio (my life flashed before my eyes!), her beautiful friends arrived; dressed to party, the buffet was delectable and heartily appreciated, the cake actually looked as cute as I had imagined…and the birthday girl? She was glowing, delighted and gracious, as I knew she would be.
Some might say I go a little over the top for parties and celebrations. A fanatic you say? Inconceivable!
It’s simply how I express my gratitude to those people in my life that make life worth living.
Thank-you Cayra, for choosing me to be your mom. I wished for you ♥
“Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.” ~ Anne Frank