Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Birthday boy, birthday cake, and letting go.

TZ turned seven today. At this very moment seven years ago, I was at the hospital, begging to be allowed to push the little bugger out--having forgotten to call the midwife before we left the house, we had to wait at the hospital for her to arrive before I was allowed to push. I look at my growing-up baby now and I can hardly believe that he's the same being that was squished up in my uterus that night.

He's not, really. The fetus would not have gone with me to Baskin-Robbins today and ordered the awful spray-painted-blue-with-red-trim Star Wars ice cream cake featuring Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader figurines brandishing lightsabers at each other for his birthday party two days hence. The fetus, still subject to my own hopes and dreams, would have grown up into a boy who clapped his hands with delight when I offered to bake him a cake in the shape of an astronaut, or maybe his favorite vegetable.

I thought I was taking a big step by allowing a Clone Wars-themed party to happen. Actually, after some arm-twisting, I managed to engineer a compromise w/ TZ whereby it's really a Jedi party. No blasters (he almost boycotted the party altogether over this issue), just lightsabers. Mostly it's going to be pretty old-fashioned stuff: tag, bike racing, balloon bopping, treasure hunting. And lightsaber dueling (lightsabers made of pool noodles and duct tape--thanks, Internet). And we'll be licensed-product-free, except for paper cups with Yoda on them, and that dreadful cake. It makes me heartsick just thinking about it. Part of me thinks I should have stood my ground, as TZ would have been happy with the cake I wanted to bake--which would have been essentially the same thing, only homemade and therefore much, much better.

But the boy is who he is, and he wants what he wants, and chintzy store-bought versus wholesome homemade cake at a party is really not that big a deal, except through the lens of my neurotic compulsion to provide homemade everything for my kids. The cake is really just a small part of the party, over which I've basically had complete creative control. I suppose at seven he deserves to get one thing that is not a compromise with my Laura-Ingalls-meets-Martha-Stewart aspirations. So I am doing what is called "letting go" of the issue, which is supposed to be healthy for everyone involved. All I have to say about that is that I am not good at letting go and it is not fun at all, so it had better be healthy.

My sister and her husband came over for TZ's birthday tonight, and when it was time to say good-bye, K was distraught. Y (sister) gave him a kiss and a tickle to get him to smile, and said cheerfully, "Maybe Mommy will do roly-poly (a game they made up) with you later."
In answer to which K cried, "No, she won't! She's just going to put me to bed!"
Which was true. Poor guy.


  1. I just realized we missed his birthday completely. I even had it written down... somewhere neither of us looked this week apparently. I guess there is nothing like making a birthday last longer! That's Ken's theory at least... sigh.

  2. すぎうら先生!

    the favorite vegetable cake line cracked me up.

    a clone wars party would be tough. i could imagine putting that energy into a star wars original trilogy party...but clone wars? you are amazing!