Friday, March 16, 2012

Just Stacie Jumping Out of a Cake

There is so much you could say about this picture.

This is my attempt to make my daughter happy and win her love. We aren't done celebrating Lucy's birthday even though it was over a week ago.  The celebrating continues with a few friends this weekend.  And she wanted one of those fancy cakes that looked like a Barbie's flowing gown. This is what I gave her, Barbie's sister Stacie jumping out of a cake.  No flowing gown.  No perfect Barbie.  Just Stacie jumping out of a cake.

I was up all night believe it or not creating that crap.  Of course, that isn't the finished product, but believe me it isn't much better.  Before Lucy went to bed I told her that I would do my best, but it might not turn out exactly like she expected.  "We can make it a funny story and laugh about it though right?" I asked adding the fact that no matter what it looked like "it would taste good."

My kids love birthdays.  

I love traditions, but birthday parties are not my favorite.  My mom used to make a big deal out of our birthday parties when we were kids.  She made amazing cakes, came up with stellar games and always had a lot of enthusiasm.  The parties were very important to her.  

Over the years, the parties became more and more about her and less about our birthdays. 

A friend recently told me she was trying not to parent from anxiety. The anxiety of our own childhoods.  I was flabbergasted.  Not only do I parent from anxiety, I live my whole life based on anxiety (and yes, most of it stems from childhood).

Later that same day I heard an interview on NPR where a parenting expert advised listeners to "raise your kids not yourself."

Okay, universe, I am getting the message.  I won't make the birthday about me.  I won't make the cake about me and my own mother issues.  I will live and parent with intention, the intention to encourage my daughter and give her the tools to be a confident adult with bad ass coping skills.

Even though Lucy seems like a mini me most days, I need to remember that she is her own little person.  

Her big second grade musical was last night. While she was prepping and singing her song I sat and listened.  At the conclusion I feverishly clapped with pride and delight, maybe a little too much.  

"Um, you don't have to do that," she said flatly. 

"I just want you to know how much I like it," I told her.  "I just want you to know it'll be great tonight honey."

"Mooooom, I know it will be great tonight.  It will be fun," she informed me and then did a cartwheel in the kitchen.

I would've given my eye teeth (an expression from my dear old mother) to have my parents or anyone clap for me as a kid.  Not that they didn't, I just needed it a lot.  Hell, even when I did lip synch concerts in my bedroom as a kid it was to my parents' Live Beach Boys record.  Not because I was such a Beach Boys fan, but because the live crowd on the record cheered me on after each song.

Lucy doesn't need that.

Does she need a cake that looks like stripper is coming out of it?  Probably not.  But she does need a mother that parents with intention, love and a sense of humor.  Check, check, check.  I got those covered.

Sure it ain't Barbie, just Stacie jumping out of a cake.  But it's a funny story and you better believe it will taste good.  And of course, secretly I'm still hoping I will win her love.


  1. I always knew Barbie had a trashy side to her family. I think you get 1,000,000 Mom points for the cake and for all the mamma love that went into it. Perhaps there's a market for stripper cakes?

  2. if i had a nickel for every time i parented from my own "this is what i needed/i won't be like my mom" personal SET of baggage, i would take you out for some cake with an ACTUAL stripper.

    it's SO HARD to break the habit. <3