The internet is like the ultimate magic trick. I post these pictures:
and what you see is the proverbial rabbit out of the hat, the woman cut in half, the happy product of family love for an upcoming celebration. What you don’t see, thanks to the internet, are the mirrors and rigged set up. What you don’t see are the toddler sized fistfuls that were gouged out of the cake while it cooled on the stove and I foolishly took my eyes off of it for 3 seconds. What you don’t see are the finger smudges on the perfect white fondant or my little helpers jockeying for position who almost pushed the cake off the table. You don’t see me biting my tongue off so I won’t scream at these adorable eager faces, “Please leave the kitchen! Birthday cakes are not about fun or about you! They are about me having one chance to show off and to create something and take a perfect picture! Birthday cakes are the mark of my success as a mother, so back off!” No, No. Like any self-respecting magician I twirl my handkerchief and flourish my wand and it looks awesome.
Because text is a terrible medium for conveying tone and meaning, the above may read as cynical and a wee bit desperate. I promise it’s not…Ok fine. There is a smidge of cynicism and desperation but nothing a 3 hour nap won’t cure. Honestly, I’m grateful that when I look back at these pictures, I’ll remember how much I rocked throwing this together last minute in the middle of packing my life. No plan, just colored drops beckoning from the Joann’s self. I’ll remember how she danced around the table and how carefully she placed each drop that I gave her on its pink frosting spot.
I’ll remember this face and how she blew out each candle individually, but what a triumph for the girl with no diaphragm strength to speak of. She bounced in her chair, literally, because she was too excited to sit still. She clapped her hands and shouted, “Yay!” with her gravely voice.
Opening presents is a total family affair at your house too, right? We will remember the process and the birthday parade, even if we forget the presents.
Smoke and Mirrors (read internet blogging) has a place. It allows me to capture the stuff that is worth remembering and letting the terrible day I was having fade into its proper place. Genuine and real, but trying to let the icky stuff go. Sigh.
So speaking of remembering…trains of thought collided in my brain one evening and resulted in the coolest art project/useful craft/cathartic way for me to say good bye to my childhood (it was quite the collision). We collected pictures of letters, numbers, and random things from our favorite places all over the city. I’m going to laminate them and put magnets on the back to make a perpetual calendar for the new house.
There are not many words for how happy this makes me. “Goodbye” suddenly has purpose and beauty.