For every birthday I try to make a cake. There have been birthdays where my kids have gotten store bought cakes, but not very many. From the time Grace turned one, I have made their birthday cakes. My skills have improved over the years, and their traditional two layer round cakes have evolved into what my imagination and skills can create.
My Mary turned eight on Sunday. She’s been looking forward to this birthday for months. I wanted to do something special for her birthday, and in her mind, there is nothing more special than the beloved Mr. S.
The saga of Mr. S begins with a VBS. A lovely young lady named Karen taught the class that my girls were in. Karen, I am told, decided as she was about to leave for this VBS that she needed something to keep the kids attention and help teach the lessons. She grabbed a white seal puppet. His name was Mr. S. Good choice. The class of little girls vied for the privilege of bearing Mr. S into the closing ceremony. Each one carefully cradled the seal and gently cared for him when it was her turn. Then the week was over and Mr. S went back home with Karen. She had no idea how beloved this seal became in the heart of at least one of those little girls.
Just a couple of short weeks later, I was out west with my mom and kids. At one place, Mom paid for each of the kids to play a carnival type game where, in this case, the barker tried to guess what month your birthday was in. If he was off by more than three months either way, you got to pick out a prize. When Mary had her turn to get a prize, she went straight for the white seal. She had found her long lost beloved. Do you remember the story of the Velveteen Rabbit? That rabbit has nothing on this seal. Mary loves him so much that her sister and brother have grown to love him as well.
So now it is birthday cake time. I pondered it for a while and figured out how I could make a Mr. S shape out of cake. Then I wouldn’t let Mary into the kitchen until the cake was all done and hidden away. She saw it for the first time after lunch on her birthday. And as her mother, I was pleased with her pleasure over the cake. That’s why I do it. That’s why I try to make creative birthday cakes for my kids. I love seeing their faces light up.