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.