My son is going to be 30 this weekend and today I am baking his birthday cake. Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and served on a wire cupcake stand, as per his request. From scratch. And because it will be a large family gathering in Vancouver, there may well be more people than the cupcake stand can accomodate. Which means I may also make a second cake, flavour yet to be determined.
It’s strange, having a child turn 30. I don’t feel any different at 53 than I did at 30. I think in a lot of ways I still feel 30 on the inside, even if my outsides prove otherwise. So how can 30 years have gotten past me so quickly?
Memory is funny that way.
Dearest Michael, I remember your shout of glee, your sagging training pants and orange striped socks, a joyful toddler leaping into daddy’s arms, flying across the open expanse between coffee table and couch without fear, landing against daddy’s chest only to bounce off and do it again and again and again, ending in the inevitable knock on daddy’s head with your tight little fist, “‘body home? ‘body home?” And then your squeal of laughter when daddy knocked back, “anybody home?” When you leaned in, slumped into his chest, I watched as he breathed in a slow breath of sweet toddler sweat, as you rose and fell against the beating of his heart.
And I remember when you got your first bike when you were four because you had started throwing tantrums and daddy said no way we’re not rewarding bad behaviour but I said he needs his freedom from the daycare kids in the back yard, he is getting older he needs to be allowed to do more, trusted to be a big boy, he is asking us to help him grow up, and so we went to town and you picked out a purple bike with handle bars that came up to daddy’s knee and white training wheels and plastic streamers in the hand grips and we put clickers in the spokes and a helmet on your head and you were allowed to ride from our house to three houses down and back again. You stopped throwing tantrums, and a year later daddy took the training wheels off and ran behind you, back and forth up and down, one hand on the back of the seat, on your back, on your helmet, hovering, hovering, until you looked back and saw him running beside you, look, look, no hands!
No hands, my darling. We are so proud of you. I am so blessed to be your mom.