I started a tradition around about the dancer’s 3rd birthday of making a rainbow cake for each of my girls’ birthdays. Some years it has been six layers high, a marathon of baking. Other years two layers, three colors each layer, which is more of a 10K to keep the metaphor going.
When Harvey struck two years ago, I finished the cakes the night before the dancer’s birthday worried the entire time that the rising flood waters would either breach the front door or the power would go out mid-bake. I wasn’t totally sure which would be worse, but I think we settled on the flood waters and spent the rest of that long night moving as much of our furniture and family memories upstairs as we could carry.
The flood waters slowed enough for the neighbors to wade across to sing and have a piece of six layer birthday cake. The dancer still remembers that birthday as the Harvey birthday that we spent holed up watching the weather channel all day praying for the bayous to drain.
The thing about those cakes, though, that I didn’t really internalize when I started making them…my daughters’ birthdays are six days apart (really, six days less than 2 years apart, but you probably knew what I meant). This means that I make TWO six layer cakes each year. Usually, we haven’t even finished the first one before I’m baking the second.
I both love and hate those cakes.
I love that they’re a meaningful and treasured part of my girls’ birthdays.
I hate that they take hours to make and then usually end up in the trash when the next one comes along.
So I’m kind of fresh out of skills, as I bake the first one of two for number 71’s birthday. I’m trying to stay in the moment for each birthday, but sometimes its hard since they coincide perfectly with the start of the school year, everyone’s absolute most crazy time (apart from May, the end of the school year, recital, program, tournament month is the gauntlet to be run before the joy of early summer).