Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cake and Candles

Even though it was a school night for them, four of my daughter's closest friends arrived at her door to surprise her for her birthday. And another friend, a classmate who was taking her to a Knicks game last night, came early too. She had no idea they were coming to sing and eat cake with her until they poured through the front door. The sole gentleman, holder of the Knicks tickets, arrived first. He looked on gamely as the girls squealed and hugged and laughed and twirled in a grand pile-up in the kitchen. Since the group had been planning her actual birthday gathering for Friday night, she truly was surprised. 

Still on spring break, our girl had been fighting a post-Mexico cold, and had earlier stretched out on the couch and fallen into a deep afternoon sleep. While she slept, her dad and I ran around getting a cake and cupcakes and flowers and a couple of small gifts from her grandma and brother. Not from us, though; our 18th birthday gift to her was the trip to Mexico. I put it all out on the table while she continued sleeping. As her dad rustled up a batch of penne in vodka sauce with spicy sausage for the hungry hoard, I arranged the tulips and put out the red velvet cupcakes and vanilla on vanilla sprinkle cake and the gift bags with bright tissue paper. 

At 4:30 pm I woke my girl and told her that her friend who was taking her to a Knicks game would be arriving soon. No, she mumbled. He's not coming till 6:30. I said he had called to say he would be there by 5. She opened her eyes then and focused on me groggily. He called and said that? she queried, clearly confused. Well, I called him and asked if he could come earlier so he could share in the cake, I covered up. She bought that. 

When he arrived, she was still in her room getting dressed. So he sat in the living room, waiting to surprise her. Her face, when she saw him, and then the rest of them, was worth the surprise. She had thought she was having a quiet family day, then going to the Knicks game later. Instead, she got to blow out candles with some of the people she loves best in the world. And after the Knicks game, she went out to dinner with other friends from her high school, so she ended up celebrating with almost all the demos who are part of her heart circle. 

She got home well past curfew but I didn't have the heart to grumble. She was happy. She hugged me lots and thanked me for arranging the surprise. It was low-key and perfect, she said. I was happy too.

Were you surprised?

Singing happy birthday.

Make a wish!

Let's eat cake.

Let's eat some pasta, too.

Thank you, Grandma! (Urban Outfitters gift card).


  1. Your girl is beautiful! Happy, happy and many more :)
    xo, misha

  2. Your daughter is so lovely! Birthdays are just the best...I think everyone should embrace birthdays instead of thinking that only young ones get all the fun!

    I think you said she turned 18? And she got a college acceptance that day too? Wow...what a day indeed!!!!!

  3. Today is my second daughter's birthday! Happy birthday to your March girl!!

  4. Oh happy day! She's so cute, and what a lovely looking group of good friends. What a lucky be surrounded by so much love!

  5. She's a doll, that one. And look at her papa- I love how he's there, his head raised high.
    Aw, darlin'. You have done so good.

  6. Just perfect!
    I still can't imagine my children going out to games or dinner or any of that. Give me time!

  7. happy birthday to your beautiful girl and congratulations to you and your husband for bringing her into the world!

    p.s. your husband and his peace sign in the first picture made me laugh out loud. or the bunny ears. either way, i ha-ha'd!!!

  8. So fabulous! Happy 18th Birthday to your wonderful, fabulous daughter. Love the entry, love the photos! Thanks for inviting us in!

  9. trying to post again!

    you are the most wonderful, most giving mother in the whole world. I can see this in every picture, in every corner of every picture.
    that will never, ever change.

    a big hug to you< my friend. and that gorgeous creature you have birthed and given guidance to...

  10. Happy, happy Birthday to your beautiful girl! What a gorgeous angel she truly is. You have a raised a daughter who is self-confident, strong, creative, kind and beautiful. She is also an amazing soul. You and your husband have done such an awesome job. It makes me smile just thinking about it.

    Happy Birth Day to you, as well, sweet one. Watching our babies turn 18 is such a bittersweet gift. Sigh...We can do this;)

    Big hugs and so much love,

  11. What gorgeous and joyful people gathered in your home! Thanks for sharing this celebration --