Sunday, August 10, 2008

Andrew's 6th Birthday

“Mrs. E! Mrs. E! The camper is going to catch on fire!!”

I love parties. Yes, there are preparations to make and there is never enough time. But, somehow, when the first guest arrives all of that melts away. All that is left is me in my cotton dress, a mint julep in my hand, the smell of smoked meat infusing my home with a mood of celebration . . . and friends, hopefully lots of them.

That was how my son’s 6th birthday began, much like many of our parties. People arriving, kids excited, happiness, hugs, “Can I get you something?” “Oh, what lovely wrapping, yes, put it over there, dear.” The weather was beautiful. The party started.

Andrew had given me precise specifications for his cake. He wanted a homemade (by mom) devil’s food sheet cake. On top should be a pick-up truck (Ford F-250) towing a fifth wheel trailer. They should be at their campsite, still hitched, but with the stabilizers down. It should all be made out of cake, icing, and candy.

“Mom, that’s pretty much what I meant!”

That’s what Andrew told me when he saw the cake the morning of his party. I felt the warm, happy feeling of success.

After dinner, the kids were running around the backyard as kids do. The hula hoop had managed to get up in a tree. The boys and girls were threatening to turn to tribal warfare (okay, not really), but either way it was time for cake.

The kids swarmed like wasps at a pig roast. Before I could snap two digital pictures, my husband lit the candles.

“Mrs. E! Mrs. E! The camper is going to catch on fire!!” The oohs and ahhs, the giggles and screams, it was unbelievable.

Per my husband’s brilliant suggestion, I used an entire box of candles in the ‘campfire’ I had put on the cake. The campfire was surrounded by ‘rocks’ of chocolate covered peanuts. By the time we managed to put out the fire some of the peanuts had their chocolate melted off. Wax was running down the cake. My “warm, happy” feeling of success had turned into a “hot, explosive” feeling of success. You just can’t buy a cake like that.

After the cake, we digressed to the piñata, and then my husband planted a few cans of silly string, my friend brought some blinking necklaces for everyone, we had glow in the dark bracelets and flashlights were issued. The kids ran around like so many lightening bugs. By 10pm they were universally begging to go to bed.

The next morning, the kids were cheerful and playing in the dewy backyard in their pajamas. My husband made a full breakfast on the deck, including smoked breakfast sausage he had slipped in the smoker while the rest of us were still snoozing. We drank our coffee, finally opened gifts, and enjoyed a glorious summer morning.

My feeling of success had mellowed back to the “warm, happy” variety. By noon, our friends had all departed and we were left with one more fabulous set of memories.


penelope said...

That cake is beyond fantastic! Very clever, that campfire.

Nan Patience said...

Awesome! Great job.

Badass Geek said...

Whenever someone asks me "Can I get you something?", I always want to ask for the most outlandish thing I can think of. Just to be funny.

That looked like an awesome cake.