When you handed me this recipe for a cake that you took out of a video game, I might have thought you had gone a little too far off the deep end. I read the ingredients, silently rolled my eyes and put the recipe into the "recipes to try out" folder. I was hoping that by the time your birthday rolled around you would have forgotten all about it. After all, who wants a cake with 7 egg whites, 3/4 cup of butter melted, a boxed cake mix, 2 cups of flour and 3 cans of frosting? I had a small heart attack just reading the nutritional information on the page you printed. He must be crazy I thought.
I shouldn't have been too surprised that you wanted such a big and outrageous cake. You have always done things big and outrageously, ever since you were little. When you were two and a half and your sister was born you gave up your afternoon naps. At a time when I would've given an organ, or a limb to get just a few hours of peace and quiet a day, or maybe a nap of my own.. you decided that you were "too grown up" for naps and gave them up all together. I remember one day I was talking to a friend on the phone who asked if I had a nice nap. When I inquired as to how they knew I had been napping, they replied that they had called the house and you answered the phone and said I was sleeping. At 2 and a half. I wondered how many other people you had talked to on the phone thinking that you were old enough to answer it when it rang, and I don't think I ever napped again.
When you were almost 5 we had that unfortunate incident with the fire in our apartment and it frustrates you that I haven't gotten over it yet. I don't know how exactly one "gets over" waking up to the sound of the fire alarm and smoke pouring out of their young son's bedroom door that is closed up tight. I don't know you expect me to forget flinging that door open, and seeing your bed starting to go up in flames and thinking you were in there. That whole business about "check the door knob to see if it's hot".. it sounds lovely but in all reality, common sense goes out the window under extreme stress. I have suffered all sorts of mental anguish since that November day 9 years ago, and I doubt that I'll ever "get over it." When you move out and have your own place you can do whatever you want, but until that day you will not play with matches in the backyard or light your own candle.
I should've known you were destined for great things when you read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in first grade. Since then you have taken advanced classes, made honor roll every marking term since you were first able in fourth grade, made the Principal's List, and been elected into the National Junior Honor Society. Your father and I are immensely proud of you, even though you shrug it off as "no big deal." It is a big deal to us. You have great potential, and we can see that in you, even if you cannot. I do find it humorous however when you get a B+ in Algebra, which is a HS class you are taking in 8th grade and find it "not acceptable." I rarely scored a B+ in math ever, and for you it's not acceptable. You have a very understated Go Big or Go Home attitude that will benefit you as you go through your life. I realized this in full with your fundraising for AHT. I couldn't understand why you had so many fundraising opportunities, and chose not to take them. It takes a very mature person to contact his family and ask them to donate towards a trip instead of Christmas and birthday gifts all on his own. You have gathered a huge portion of the funds needed for your trip all on your own, and I am very proud of you. I am sorry for giving you so much crap. Sometimes it's hard being your mother.
And then we have our relationship. It isn't an easy relationship, the one between you and I. You and I are very much alike, something you cannot see yet, but I can. I see some of the same traits in you that I see in myself, and I have come to realize that this is why we butt heads so often. The one thing you are, however, that I am not.. is a button pusher. I might have been a button pusher when I was younger come to think of it, but it was something I grew out of and I hope that you will also. Let me give you advice. When your mother has had it up to here with you, and some tiny piece of her sanity has broken off and she starts yelling things that are ridiculous and don't make sense.. don't laugh. I know you haven't done this.. but I did.. and I did it often. It only made my situation worse. I am trying to spare you some anguish, or at least a weeks grounding.
So we come to your 14th birthday with a request for a large outrageous cake. For the same reason that your father pulled the grill out of the barn and grilled you steak and baked potatoes, I made you your cake. We love you. Even when you are making us wish that it wasn't illegal to drown your children at a young age, we still love you. No more, and no less than your sister. It might seem like we like her more right now, but that isn't the case. She is just easier to deal with than you are lately, but don't worry. Her time will come. While today was about giving gifts to you, you gave a gift to me.
That large, ridiculous cake that you asked for? I had a blast making it. It was crazy and I can think of 5 easier ways to make that cake that would've taken less time and involved less ingredients (and probably half the amount of fat and carbs), but that was a fun cake to make. I thought I was going to rip a muscle in my arm trying to stir it up, and when I "poured" it into the cake pans (let's be honest there was no pouring, I don't care what the recipe said) and saw that big glob of heavy batter, I laughed right out loud. I laughed again when I was frosting it with that stiff chocolate frosting that I was sure was going to rip the cake, and then realized that a cake mix that weights a ton produces a rather heavy firm cake. I enjoyed pressing the chocolate chips into the side probably more than I should've and then when I added the cherries into those white frosting "poofs", well.. let's just say I needed some laugh therapy today and your cake provided me with a bunch. So even though I have asked you not to read my blog, I know that you will see this and I thank you. Happy Birthday Mr. Man, I love you.