Pieces of Me

The Importance of Cake

My two boys are captivated by birthdays. They plan and anticipate their own birthdays with so much eagerness and excitement that it feels like a constant conversation in our house. With so much talk about little birthdays – big birthdays are hardly talked about at all. Thankfully. Growing older comes with greying hair, plump bits and lots of saggy bits. So I am quite happy to keep my birthday in the shadows, while I entertain and indulge all the fan-fare that comes with little birthdays.

However, this year there was one big birthday that was very exciting. My sister turned thirty. Her birthday is the day after AJ’s. In the delirium of the emergency c-section that happened six years ago, I remember asking my obstetrician if AJ would be pulled out born before midnight – just so he could have his own birthday. And he was, 11.45pm.

turtle birthday cake

Now, my sister certainly wasn’t waiting nor relying on me to execute her birthday. She took care of that all on her own. With a red hot passport in one hand and a Lava Flow in the other, she celebrated turning thirty on the sands of Hawaii. Now she packs her bags for a seven week adventure in Europe, with three of her most amazing friends. Her plans are not just perfect, they are pin-worthy and that is so much more than perfect.

Yet, it seemed that when she returned from Hawaii and the dust had settled she wasn’t a happy camper at all. In fact, she was a very sad panda. As we were busy, knee deep in preparations for PJ’s party she left me wondering how much more she could possibly need to validate her own birthday. Wasn’t two overseas trips enough?

Well, one afternoon, after she had just put together the design for PJ’s cake, her troubles were revealed. “I didn’t even have a cake.”
It was my light-bulb moment.

turtle birthday cake

My sister wasn’t sad that we all hadn’t gathered and showered her with presents and an indulgent party. She simply wanted cake. A birthday cake and a birthday candle to make a wish upon – the absolute essence of a birthday. A privilege we allow ourselves only once a year. With only a week to go till PJ’s party, I hastily rang my cake maker and begged her to make my sister a cake. A surprise cake.

So right after my little man blew out his four candles and made his wish. My two boys and I escaped to the other room, only to emerge with my sister’s cake and her three lit candles. With a room full of family and friends we sang “happy birthday” and five weeks after her actual birthday she had the chance to make that thirtieth birthday wish.

turtle birthday cake

It really is about the simple things. Not the extravagant. The importance of cake on a birthday should never be overlooked. Whether the birthday is to celebrate turning four or turning forty, there needs to be the ritual of cake. For it is the cake and the candle that it bears that make birthdays something we keep believing in, whether we like to admit so or not.

Do you have cake on your birthday?

A very special thank you to my amazing friend Belinda from Baked By Belinda, who not only made this amazing cake for my sister, but it was super delicious and she only had a week to whip this up for me!

  • Alicia-OneMotherHen

    I did last year! I don’t get cake every year, but turned 40 with my family, friends and cake. Even though my kids don’t have a party every year, I make sure they have a birthday cake. Cute cake, you’re a good sister 🙂

  • LydiaCLee

    Actually, I often don’t have cake on my birthday. I do like cake tho, so I guess I can see her point. But usually I celebrate in un-cake style, so makes it tricky…

  • mel

    That’s such a gorgeous cake, happy birthday to your sister

  • Kathy www.yinyangmother.com

    Very thoughtful sister you are Josefa.

  • Renee at Mummy, Wife, Me

    Oh yes! Definitely have cake on my birthday. I’m the same as your sister. It’s not a birthday without one. Gorgeous cake and gorgeous sister!

  • What a beautiful surprise and what a wonderful sister you are. I agree, the cake is of number one importance. I’d rather a cake than presents any day. x

  • Aww how sweet, the birthday cake is the most important part of a birthday! What a lovely surprise!

  • Beck/craftypjmum

    Love love love that cake : )

  • Very clever cake – and I agree, it’s just not a birthday without cake 🙂 What a lovely sissy you are

  • And that really is a fab cake. And yes I agree cake is important, even though I have very low key birthdays usually myself… I do love a bit of cake. A friend made one for me this year and I really, really appreciated it. Hello via IBOT.

  • A great birthday cake! Glad she got to make a wish for her 30th birthday. Happy Birthday to your little one as well.

  • I love cake. Actually this post reminds me of a dream I had last night where I was trying to make enough cake for the entire Auskick team, but everyone was running late and it started to rain.

    • Oh Jess, not sure what that dream is trying to tell you ~ very interesting indeed x

  • bodyandfeetretreat

    I love cake but we don’t normally worry about birthday cake – mainly because it lands up going to waste or I eat it all and I am not supposed to !!!
    What a beautiful cake for your sister – so glad you got to spoil her.
    Have the best week !

  • Pip

    I love the fact you have a cake maker and have created the adjective pin-worthy – I shall borrow, I mean steal that adjective. You’re a fab sister – gorgeous story – go the turtle cake 🙂

  • The Plumbette

    I definitely have cake on my birthday. One year I made a toilet cake as a laugh with my friends. I made it a bit too realistic though with lemon jelly and picnic bars and sadly hardly any of it got eaten!

  • Alli @ ducks on the dam

    Always cake. Usually more than one

  • Yes, cake is very special. I am lucky enough to have a close friend who is the most amazing cake maker (that’s her business). We celebrate every occasion with cake, even getting a job contract.

  • My mum always makes sure we have cake, and in turn I always make sure that Dave has cake because hi family area much for celebrating birthdays and beer have a cake with candles, just a nice dessert usually. Dave turne 31 eleven days after we had Punky and I asked a friend to bring a cake over when they came to meet Punky that day so he still had something. Right as we finished singing the birthday song Punky projectile vomited and only just missed the cake! If it hadn’t been for Dave recognising the sign no one would have been eating cake that day!

  • Judy Adam Thornton

    Hey cake is so delicious. I love it but my body doesn’t!
    Yes, cake is very important for birthday…get rid of that and what on earth would you do?

  • Loree

    Never under-estimate the importance of cake 🙂

  • Kaz @ MeltingMoments

    I totally agree. Cake really makes a birthday feel special 🙂

  • Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo

    I never get cake. Will you make me one? You can totally eat the whole thing, I don’t like cake, but you are right that it is all about the ceremony.

    • Oh hun, I can’t bake to save my life, let alone deem it worthy enough to celebrate your birthday! I am pretty good out outsourcing though, can I outsource you a cake?

  • kamran

    cake is the best

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