Tuesday, May 23, 2017


This year is Mom's 80th birthday year. She doesn't turn 80 until December 21st, but in her habit of living large, she's declared the entire year her birthday celebration~~and she's sharing all the fun.

So in September, we will gather with all her granddaughters for a pre-December extravaganza, and the question came up, What's Grandma's favorite cake?

We all knew she loved cookies, but when it came to cake, we were a bit stumped.

The first suggestion came from my sister who said, "I think it's German chocolate or sponge cake."

When I read her response, I laughed. I almost couldn't believe it. For German chocolate cake is my sister's favorite cake; sponge cake was our dad's. Yes, Mom made those cake annually for their birthdays, so my sister erroneously assumed.

The next suggestion was "ice cream cake."

It came from Mandi, another granddaughter. Again I was stunned, because I happened to know ice cream cake is Mandi's favorite, and for Mandi's birthday in March, Grandma ordered an ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins.

I felt a little sad I couldn't definitively name my own mother's favorite cake, but I had a hunch.

I called Mom. "My neighbor made the best carrot cake, should I get the recipe?"

Though we were speaking on the phone and a thousand miles apart, I could see her leap from the couch. "I love carrot cake. It's my favorite."

The mystery was solved, but not without some amusing conclusions.

1. Projection. Not a bad thing, but the things we love, we project and assume to be everyone else's favorite too. It's why I'm always surprised when Jillian says she hates something and I respond, "No you love it." She really doesn't; I'm the one who loves it, and I have to be reminded even after 20 years of her reminders.

2. Cake is trivial. But be aware of the more important likes and dislikes of loved ones.

3. One year is not enough time to celebrate. Hence, life should be a continual celebration of all things good.

4. What are you doing for your mom's birthday this year? Do you know her favorite cake? If you are no longer blessed with the presence of your mom, find someone else to be the recipient of your child-self love and devotion to Mom.

5. Be the kind of Mom, or person, that deserves a conversation about the cake you love.

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