The night before I baked her cake. In the morning I cut it into the requested Hello Kitty shape and frosted it. I had to do it in stages because a mother of two little ones doesn't often have an uninterrupted hour to do anything, much less take that long to frost a cake.
After years of mocking my sister and how she coordinates her birthday child's clothing to the colours of the themed cake, I now understand. I have fallen from my lofty ideals of simplicity and have spent too much time on a character cake, when I should have been packing and cleaning.
As I was frosting the cake and simultaneously cursing myself for the idea of it in the first place, I began to wonder who I was doing this for. Was I really doing this for Jenny so that she could have a fun birthday? Or was I doing it for myself in some twisted way? What was I getting out of it?
I was stressed.
I had way too much to do to waste an entire day on prepping for a 3-year-old's party that would last two hours.
The frosting was running down my arm and the little stars wouldn't maintain their shape because I don't know what I'm doing and my frosting was too thin and my baby was starting to cry and I had only just started.
Was I trying to impress the party attendees? No, they're just family members who have seen me at my worst.
Was I trying to prove something about what a fabulous party-planning and creative mother I am? Possibly, but since I know I'm not really any of those things, why would I try to prove something I don't hold to be true?
Because I want it to be?
Hmm. As I was pondering this, Jenny began enthusiastically chanting "Thank you, Mommy! Thank you for my Hello Kitty CAKE!"
She said it over and over with such sincerity and joy that I was glad for the task.
She loved it. She really did. She talked about it in anticipation for weeks and in enjoyment all day and for a few days more. She cried when it was all gone.
That's right. I did it for her. My intentions were pure.