Photo: One of these days, when I win the lottery, I’m going to buy a good camera. One that can take not-blurry pictures. And ya’ll will be like, ooooo, ahhhhhhh and I’ll be like, see! In the meantime, take my word for it: Waterfire in Providence is beautiful and wonderful and you should totally go!
My 31st birthday cake was a red velvet with blue frosting with shark sprinkles on it.
My sons baked it for me (under the supervision of their father, of course!), and sang to me last night. It wasn’t a perfect weekend, but that was a pretty special moment. A moment that wasn’t even supposed to happen. Because I don’t really love cake, so I didn’t really need one, but was convinced that I had to have one.
Last Thursday, I was in Wegman’s and I thought about buying a cake there (they really do, seriously, bake the best cakes). I looked at the counter and asked the lovely woman standing behind it if I bought a cake that day if it would still be good on Sunday. She was quite honest and told me no. And I wasn’t trying to return there over the weekend and I wasn’t trying to bake my own cake. So I let it alone. Little boys were being all crazy anyway… ya’ll recall my week from hell.
So on our way to my little birthday treat on Saturday night (will get to that in a moment), there was much talk about the impending birthday.
Major to Minor: “Tomorrow is my mother’s birthday.” (Major is so possessive right now)
Minor to Me: “Mommy! It’s your birthday! That means you get the first piece of cake!”
Me: “Oh? Is that so?”
Minor: “Oh yes! First you, then me, then [Major] and then Daddy! Because that’s just fair!”
Me: “Uh huh… well… I don’t think there is going to be any cake, you guys. I didn’t buy one and I’m not really trying to bake my own cake.”
Major, incredulous: “What? No birthday cake!?”
Minor: “If there is no cake, then it’s not your birthday, Mommy!”
The Husband: “I can probably bake you a cake.”
Well… that’s what they did. Major demanded that I have a blue cake for my birthday so as to put a smile on his face. A small concession, I suppose. I just went to the grocery store, bought 3 of my favorite types of cake and 2 different types of frosting and then told my husband to surprise me. The result was a red velvet cake with electric blue vanilla frosting with shark sprinkles. Why not? Such is the whimsy of motherhood.
The treat wasn’t the cake, of course. It was little boys singing, clapping, and devouring cake. Sometimes you have to actively search for the joy. I was too full from my (excellent) sushi dinner, so I only had a tiny piece.
I did get a chance to fill my jar this weekend, and it came from a little quiet time to write and read, but also a lovely trip down to Providence for Waterfire. This was only my second time going, but it is my absolute favorite thing to do in New England. Waterfire is this wonderful public art event along the riverwalk in downtown Providence. In the shadow of their (absolutely beautiful) state house, the lights along the riverwalk are put out on Saturday nights so that they can light these beautiful fire cauldrons in the water. Music of all types play from speakers, performers float among the crowds, the smoke from the wood fire fills the air with sweetness, people mingle about, wandering or leaning against the safety rails to watch the flames. Meanwhile, boats pass up and down in the water, some with spectators enjoying a close-up view of the fires, but two are boats filled with wood and staff members who are constantly adding that wood to the flames. It’s nice to watch the lower flames leap up again as they take hold of new wood.
There is nothing better. It’s the best. If you’re ever in New England, take the time to go. Make a day of it, too. The last time we went, as a two-income couple with no babies, we stayed at the Renaissance hotel that is right up the street. I’m not being paid to tell you this, and I’m telling you that it’s out-of-this-world awesome. The view of the statehouse that we had from our room was breathtaking. Hopefully one day we’ll get to do it again. When little boys are older, we’re feeling financially stronger and we can leave them with a babysitter. 🙂
Anyway, the bottom line is that I’m feeling so much better. Infinitely better. Boys have school this week, I’m full of ideas, and I’m feeling strong. Strong enough to tackle this current challenging phase with a little more patience and grace than I did last week. I can’t believe that 30 came and went so quickly. I wish I had more to show for my year. Oh well. I know that I grew, even if I don’t have a lot of tangibles to prove it.
What are you after this week, Dear Reader? There is so much to do! Let’s get it done in style, yeah?
See you Wednesday!