Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rethinking Traditions

Many of my fondest childhood memories are those of traditions my family established. When I became a mother, I made it a priority to establish traditions for my children as well. 

The first tradition was to create a special birthday cake every year for every child. 

That sounded like a fine idea when I had one child who was born during one of the slowest seasons on the farm. I made an adorable teddy bear cake, invited everyone we had ever met several of our closest friends and family members, and celebrated.

The birthday boy hid under the table.

Undaunted, I continued the tradition for every subsequent birthday and every subsequent child.

Last year, I realized that I had made more than 20 very special cakes. Apparently I had failed to do the math when I began this tradition. I had also failed to take into consideration that the subsequent children would be born during busier times of the year.


This child was born during calving.

As a matter of fact, when I was about 7 centimeters dilated while in labor with this baby boy, my husband looked deep into my eyes and asked if he should just go ahead home, check the cows, and come back in the morning. He quickly reconsidered his options and stayed by my side. I'm sure it had nothing to do with my sweet response.

As the third child, Matthew has been well aware of the special cake tradition since he was 2. His birthday cakes have included a teddy bear, a lion, Winnie the Pooh, a horse, and a John Deere tractor.

This year he asked for an excavator.

He also wanted toaster waffles for dinner, but we compromised. 

He got hamburgers and a dump truck.


His cake this year is evidence that I am in no danger of being hired by a bakery.

Even the six-year-old realized its shortcomings.

"It doesn't really look like a real one Mom, but that's okay. I still like it," he said, patting me on the arm.

I learned two things on Matthew's sixth birthday.
1. Traditions trump perfection.
2. I'm not going to attempt fondant in the future.


Ann from Montana said...

Well, I don't see the shortcomings!

And toaster waffles for dinner all of a sudden sound wonderful!

Jennifer said...

I think it's a fine looking cake. Better than I coud ever do.

oceans5 said...

I think it is adorable. I love traditions. We have several really special ones and I always get such a happy feeling when I carry them on with my kids.:)

Dawn said...

I think you did a great job. And as a cake decorator, even I hate fondant. I'm a traditionalist, I suppose, and prefer to stick to buttercream.

Besides, tradition trumps talent, anyway!


Pony Girl said...

Great post, it made me smile! :) I couldn't have made anything that difficult, I wouldn't even know where to begin. You did a really good job! My cousin is a professional cake maker, I think I'll put her in charge when I have kids, lol!

jane said...

Sweetest cake ever. Is that a flexible cutting board?

Farm Fresh Jessica said...

But still, you are the rockenest mom!

And I totally know what you mean about having a baby at the wrong time of year!

sariah said...

Your cakes beat mine ANY DAY!! I loved the John Deere one too. What a great tradition.

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