Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Cake - Slice of Life Story

"Just a minute. I have to go get the candles," I said.

"I already did it," Diana replied.

I looked at the cake and noticed she had in quite a creative way. The 7 candle that Alice chose was in the center while the 7 individual candles that I selected were around it in a circle tilted out. I lit the number candle from our gas stovetop and used it to light the rest.

"I don't want wax all over my cake," Manuel said, but it was in vain because as I continued lighting the wax continued spilling.

We stood around the table: Diana, Alice, Manuel, my mother in law, and I. We started to sing Happy Birthday in Spanish - the Feliz Cumpleaños translated version, not the traditional mañanitas.

When we finished Diana said she was going to choose a different wish this time, different than the wish she did just a day before as she celebrated with her cousins, aunt, uncle, and grandparents with the special cake that Grandpa bought for her.

"I want you to push my face in," she had said before we got started the day before. I had told her that we wouldn't, not wanting to ruin the cake because it was "too small" for that. It didn't matter that a day later her cake was even smaller. She asked once again if we could please push her face in.

And so, after she finished blowing out her candles, taking them off, and picking off the wax spots, I started the chant, "¡Qué lo muerda!" She leaned down to take her traditional first bite. Manuel lightly pushed her head in and she came up, but she wasn't satisfied. She had just seen her prima with her face covered in frosting at her birthday party about a week ago. She doesn't realize things like different types of frosting making a difference.

She put her own face back into the frosting until she could come back up with some stuck to her face and a big smile of course. The whole center of the cake was caved in.

"Eww," said Manuel. It didn't look that appetizing anymore to either of us, but I cut some pieces from around the edges for us. As for the girls, they didn't care.

My girls are growing up with some traditions that I had never heard of when I was there age - a blend of the known and unknown as they grow up bicultural.


  1. I have to tell you I like Diana's flair with the candles and her desire for the cake in her face! It is also sweet that you let her have her wish. Traditions are what make memories. It was nice to get a peek at some of yours.

  2. Beautiful final line, Amanda. I love the way this story wraps around emotions an makes me feel like I was part of the celebration.

  3. Making memories...which ever way works the best. Just think how much fun she will have later on looking at the photos!

  4. Like Ruth, I love that last line! How great for Diana that she will grow up knowing two different cultures!

  5. I didn't know about that tradition, what fun for Diana, & others too. It's so good to create such memories.