twelve years, two days and two weeks
Today was the 12th anniversary of losing my beloved Nana. I was so busy, I barely even paused to reflect. Didn’t even light a candle. When I was lamenting this over dinner, M reminded me that I was about to pay tribute to her in the best way I knew how. I was going to bake a cake. I even have her spreader to frost the top.
Because yes, I am the kind of person who bakes her own birthday cake. The day after tomorrow, I will turn (holy crap) 41 freaking years old. So strange to even think it, let alone write it. When did I get so old? Shocking, truly.
This time last year, I was anticipating the birth of Baby J more than turning 40. M made it a beautiful day, actually a few days. But I was definitely freaked out by such a big number, and it was much easier to focus elsewhere.
I’m focusing elsewhere this year too, as Baby J will turn a whole year old in just two weeks! So instead of planning my own birthday, I’m planning a little party for her. Nothing big, just some friends and family in the yard for an almost summer picnic. Hopefully the weather will cooperate.
It’s hard to even consider how long I’ve waited to plan a birthday party for my own child. Seriously. I get teary just thinking about it. I just hope I’m not a big ball of mess the whole day. How I wish I could pull some of you through the computer to celebrate with us. It would be wonderful to be surrounded by those who have been through this journey with me from this side of the story. You who understand what it took to make it to this day…
You know what I’m saying, right?
Anyway. I’ve always wanted to make a carrot cake from scratch. Rather than experiment for the baby’s birthday, I’m going to make it for mine. I researched recipes and chose one to adapt. Now you know what I’ll be doing when I get home from work tomorrow. After dinner, after I put the baby down to sleep, I will bake myself a homemade organic carrot cake.
I love the ritual aspect of baking — clearing the space, gathering the ingredients, the tools, the mixing, the transformation of texture and form, the warmth of the oven, the sweet aroma that overtakes the house and makes it feel like home. As I always do when I’m baking, I’ll think of my grandmother.
I’ll let you know how it turns out. And I’ll try not to eat the whole thing.