Bye, Bye Pink Cupcake, Hello…

My voice quivered a bit as I placed the order. An 8- inch round, white layer cake, fudge frosting, and lots of purple flowers. Rhonda, one of the Pink Cupcake proprietors, understood.  They’ve been baking and delivering birthday cakes to students at Kenyon College for years.

For me, it’s the last time I’ll order a birthday cake for Lydia, turning 22 next week, and graduating in May.  We had discussed what she wanted when she was home over Thanksgiving.

I thanked Rhonda for taking care of Lydia’s birthday for me, saying the bakery’s done a good job.  I didn’t want to remind her about the one mistake.

Freshman year, they delivered a great cake …on the wrong day.  Talk about how to make a mother feel guilty.

Sophomore year, I tried someone who was baking from her home. A disaster.

Last year, confounded about what to do short of flying to Ohio to bake a cake myself, I returned to Pink Cupcake, and called them daily between placing the order and delivery date.  All went well.

And this is the last year.

To be extra sure about the cake order, I thought I’d check. I emailed Lydia. No, she wants Red Velvet with cream cheese frosting.  OK, another quick call to Pink Cupcake.

Rhonda said she knew how I felt. Her son is graduating from college too.

They deliver the cake to the college security office and the students retrieve them there. I’m sure her friends will host an impromptu party, supplying the other ingredients appropriate for a 22-year-old birthday.  (Think college.)

I’ll miss giving her a birthday hug and kiss on the day, watching her blow out the candles.

I’m not sure where she’ll be next year on her birthday and if she’ll even want a cake.

Like eating the last piece of flower-adorned birthday cake, this slice of her life is ending.  As she licks frosting off her fingers, swallows the remaining crumbs, she’ll store the memories. She’ll add more layers, embarking on new slices as if trying a new recipe: following directions, adding, mixing, and creating.

My Birthday Girl


About cyclingrandma

I was a journalist (Danbury News-Times, Ct), before becoming a teacher, and continue to write for professional journals. I have written several study guides for Penguin Books and write for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. ( I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, (April, 2009). Two essays have been published in book anthologies; one for Wisdom of Our Mothers, (Familia Books) and the other in “College Search and Parent Rescue: Essay for Parents by Parents of College-Going Students.” (St. Martin’s Press). I was a middle school Language Arts teacher for more than 10 years and have just completed a five year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, NJ public schools. I have three children, two daughters-in law, and six grandchildren. I'm an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader. I love theater, museums, and yoga.
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10 Responses to Bye, Bye Pink Cupcake, Hello…

  1. Happy birthday to Lydia!! Twenty-two is a great age. And as the mom of two out of college, I can promise you they still want cakes.


    • Good– I’ll have to find the bakeries. Not much of a frosting cake type baker. I do cookies, pies, cakes, etc but not icing. Guess Kath gets great cakes from the bakery. I don’t know how she keeps so slim with all the food she eats.

      On Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 7:40 AM, cyclingrandma


      • Bakery doesn’t do fancy cakes either. They do teacakes, muffins, cookies, and pies. I don’t see how Kath stands it either. I got nuts when I go in there, although I try to hold back so I don’t shame the family.


  2. She’s beautiful and you’re an awesome mom!


  3. Ariana says:

    Happy birthday to Lydia!
    My son just turn 23, when I asked him what he wanted eat for his B/D – he answered anything you make will be good. “Funny” I thought, because only couple of years ago he said to me “I am so tired of your Russian food!”


  4. adinparadise says:

    Happy Birthday to Lydia. Red Velvet cake with cream cheese frosting sounds good to me. 🙂 I’m sure the family cake tradition can carry on, even though she’s finished her studies. 🙂 I know how you feel though. They grow up too fast.


  5. Happy Birthday and happy memories! Wish I had thought of this delicious tradition. Congrats on the upcoming graduation too!


  6. Dilip says:

    Greetings and happiness! Cheers 🙂


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