And that means that tonight is cake night.
Last week was the 14th anniversary, somehow, of Mom's death, and having done most of my college after she was gone, met Matt after she was gone...had babies after she was gone...moved to Haiti after she was gone...there is very little in my life anymore that I can feel her presence in.
But while I never once iced a cake with my mother, our birthday cakes were one of HER things. She was amazing. Whatever we came up with, she bested...staying up all wee hours of the night before our big day turning out incredible creations. It was nuts, the time and energy she put into those cakes. It was only your mama loves you like that nuts.
She did a lot of things like that that I don't even attempt...drove some 20 hours so we could go to an awesome Christian summer camp with our friends every summer, hand-stitched Christmas stockings every year for all three of us with major events and changes for that year, sent special treats and notes in our lunches for holidays no one had ever even heard of. She was amazing at loving us nuts.
That I can still feel.
So tonight it was "a purple dolphin, jumping out of ocean waves" cake, and I must point out that my mom wasn't trying to ice the things in 6 minute intervals in-and-out of the fridge due to the 93 degree kitchen with almost no proper baking/icing gear.
But when I ice them, she is with me. And I wish she knew the precious children I was icing them for.
I couldn't explain Sofie to her if I tried.
When I came home from work on Friday, her uniform spewed across the house, Sofie greeted me in this:
She comes up with responses and songs and games and outfits I have no explanation for, that send us all into peals of laughter. She loves to share, she loves her friends, she loves her daddy, loves her sisters, loves stuffed animals, is relentlessly stubborn and has utterly NEVER been bored in her life.
If you tell Sofie a paperclip is special, she thinks it is special, and will guard it, build it a house, paint it, make outfits for it, name it, and sleep with it.
This is one of my all time Sofie pictures, on my mom's porch. All of Sofie is in that face.
Sofie is gonna be Sofie...and we're finally getting to the point where she's learning when and how to let God curb and shape who she is with who He wants her to be...without losing any of that Sofie-ness.
Tonight, it means sweating over the dolphin cake. But today it meant four of her best friends and an ocean party. I loved getting to know these sweet and sassy girls better (Sofie has perfectly picked dear friends who are as sweet and as non-nonsense as she is!) and loved watching Sofie be SOFIE...all six years!
Tomorrow we are off to preach at an alumni church, and then lunch and a bonfire and birthday with the team...and a purple dolphin-ish cake.