I’m part Vulcan on my mama side. I inherited all the deadpan bon mots and none of the good bangs. The grand cosmic joke is that I managed to breed a boy who is all Vulcan or at least seems to be that way sometimes since I LIVE FOR A FREAKING HUG FROM YOU.
I think I can hear my mother snickering and fingering her stack of Oprah magazines. They told her that payback would be sweet.
So for these first three years of birthdays, I kinda tried to blow your mind a little bit. Failing this, I always blow my own mind with a cocktail hour.
When you were one, I was inspired by a cute little French movie about a boy and his red ballon. Mostly you were wondering who the hell all these people were and why the hell they kept looking at you. Also, what the fuck is this thing?
Then, you stuck your whole face in the cake, which made you look like a tiny angry clown and I’m sort of scared of clowns.
When you turned two, you were still a little fuzzy on this birthday thing. So I decided to bring you the best cake EVER KNOWN TO MAN. Carrying that thing up to your school appealed to the dark, competitive mom inside me. I’m the best mother who ever bought a cake, DO YOU HEAR ME?
Nevermind the nap mat I never got around to sewing for you after I failed (for the third time) to buy the right fabric.
Nevermind the fact that I waited so late to apply to a daycare for you that the only crappy ones available would’ve been like handing over my newborn to the day clerk at the Citgo.
NEVERMIND MY PAST FAILURES, FOR TODAY? I HAVE ARRIVED WITH A BITCHING CAKE! A CAKE THAT OTHER KIDS SHALL TELL THEIR MOTHERS ABOUT! AND THEY SHALL BE JEALOUS OF ME … MEEEEE! THIS IS A MOTHERFUCKING BROBEE CAKE!
Man, I was feeling great.
So naturally when I walked into your classroom, you just sort of stared at me. Dismayed, even. Like I’d shown up in the middle of your post-prom hotel room with a tray of shitty cookies. And farted.
You and the other two-year old zombies didn’t really get it.
This year, your third birthday, I was determined to crack the fascade.
Me being me, I just couldn’t have CakeMaker make you a Thomas the Train cake. Even though you LOVE Thomas.
As if on cue, you just wandered into my bedroom clutching your prized Diesel engine. It is like, 3 AM. I am a little terrified that you will want to talk to me about it.
Last night we had a spirited debate on Thomas the Train at 2:19 in the morning. I was trying to truly engage you in conversation, and not just phone it in. But I eventually had to just squeeze my own eyeball out of the socket and eat it.
Dude, there’s but so many times I can give you a play-by-play on where Diesel is in this particular shot, WHEN YOU’RE ONLY GOING TO ASK ME AGAIN FOR THE NEXT SCENE. And then quiz me on where your Diesel engine is located on the bed.
I was cool through the first 407 times, but that 639th WHERE’S DIESEL?! made me have to hurt myself a little.
Anyways, I didn’t get the Thomas cake made because I want to validate your own imagination. Your general love for all trains. You shall not lack for Disney, but I’m fighting for balance.
Also, if you had started asking me where Diesel was on that cake, I was going to fill my nostrils with glue.
So CakeMaker made this AWESOME cake instead:
My energy was right. I wasn’t competitive. I was just happy to be with you, your friends and your dad. And probably because I had better energy, I FINALLY got this:
Your face is dirty because you already ate a handful of icing.
So the moral of this birthday tale is that your mother is a crazy harpy who puts a bunch of pressure on herself and looks at cake-buying as a competitive sport.
But I mean, you’re the kid that can give megawatt grins for the ages, just because it’s Tuesday …
I guess I always want to see some of that on your actual birthday, because that day will forever bring such a smile to my face.
Happy third birthday, Amsden. I love you.