Cake, it’s a gift
Our 11 year old daughter, Rachel, gives the gift of cakes. For all of our birthdays, anniversaries and celebrations, Rachel makes us a cake. Due to an unfriendly sibling request, Rachel did not create her brother Leo’s 14th birthday cake. Instead, late at night, the night before Leo’s birthday, Rachel and I went to the supermarket and bought (a very expensive) Carvel ice cream cake as requested by the birthday boy. And, Rachel was so happy to pick the specific cake. I asked her how she felt about not making the cake, she was just so thrilled to pick it out, and her handwritten birthday card to him noted that she was in charge of picking out the cake. I was simply the driver and ice cream cake financier.
Baker: “What should I write on your birthday cake?”
Before Rachel became our resident cake director, we did buy grocery store cakes. Several years ago, Leo was at the bakery and the baker asked him what should be written on the cake. A humorous then 8 year old Leo answered, with a nod to his favorite show Seinfeld, “Happy Birthday, Jerry.” That line was delivered like it was straight out of a Seinfeld episode. Leo and I fell over laughing, the baker didn’t get it, and instead, we came home with a “Happy Birthday, Leo” cake. This joke still lives on whenever we need to write a message on a cake.
Too Much Cake
Unbeknownst to us, with our Carvel cake in the freezer, someone brought a beautiful homemade birthday cake to the birthday dinner party. We served that delicious cake. We had self control and kept the ice cream cake frozen. We would later recognize that it was a gift to have the frozen cake tucked away, because three nights later, it would be an excuse to sweetly hang out. “Let’s eat cake!”
We had our cake and ate it, too
Leo has been 14 for three days. It was very late, I was ready for bed. Leo asked me if I wanted to pull out the cake and hang out. I took the opportunity because he is 14 and I am fearful for the day when I don’t receive these invitations. He told me about books he is reading, we talked about baseball. It was a really special moment. I asked if he wanted light Shabbat candles, it was way past sundown, but I don’t believe that it’s ever too late to have a spiritual moment saying a prayer for peace and having gratitude. As we were lighting candles, we heard people running down the steps. Everyone was suppose to be sleeping. Leo hid his plate under the table as in “nothing’s going on around here.” His siblings sat down and there was suspicion in the air. Someone noticed a plate of ice cream under the table. It wasn’t right to light Shabbat candles and be sneaky about the cake. We were all laughing. And, everyone got a plate and spoon. We hung out a bit later. More dirty dishes, some laughs and good times.
Cake for everyone
Leo and I were busted. We shared the cake and the visit, laughing and talking. Then, I was asked to tuck them into bed and sing the Shema (the oldest daily prayer in Judaism – my husband and I sing the prayer to each of the kids each night before bed). We are lucky that they still ask me to tuck them in. I didn’t actually eat a piece of the ice cream cake, but kissing everyone in before they went to sleep, was like having my cake, and eating it too.