Let There be Cupcakes!

I reached for the cupcakes at Whole Foods this morning – vanilla, Lyle’s favorite, with coconut sprinkled generously across the top – and paused, thinking to myself, It’s his half-birthday, you dork. He doesn’t need cupcakes! This is a fake occasion, right up there with celebrating the 100th day of school! Just tell him he’s three and a half and move on!

And then I reached for the cupcakes and determinedly placed them in my shopping cart, sending a text message to the babysitter: “Tell Lyle it’s his half birthday and we’ll celebrate tonight!”

At the dinner table, he could barely contain himself. He stood on his chair because from that vantage point he was able to take in the glorious dinner I’d given him (Trader Joe’s 3-cheese pizza, chopped pineapples, and veggie chips – his favorites!) and the cupcakes back on the kitchen counter. “This is gonna be quite a party!” he crowed.

On a whim I set the iPod to Lyle’s 3rd Birthday Mix, a selection I put together for his birthday last August, and while we ate we jammed to some of his faves, such as a couple of hits from Mary Poppins, Justin Roberts, Dan Zanes, and the local Wiggleworms music class CD.

After our fantabulous dinner and cupcakes, I declared it Dance Party Time. The three of us were on fire, I tell you, on fire. Lyle danced in circles around us, yelling, “I’m having a great time with you guys!” over and over. (He later took me by the hand and declared solemnly, “You are my best friend.”)

Suddenly, Dan Zanes’ Wonderwheel came on and there I was, dancing with my little guys in my kitchen on Lyle’s half birthday, thinking about how blessed I am to have this family and house and a husband on his way back from a business trip and this blog and all of you friends out there from all over the world to share the highs and lows of my life with, and I was just overcome with gratitude. Truth be told, today I am exhausted, sick, and in possession of a work to do list with 21 undone items remaining, but all of that vanished in one big happy moment and has left me glowing all evening.

Just like us, our children are facing lots of challenges and have hard times ahead of them. No matter who they are or how they came into this world, no matter how well cared for, fed, educated, and played with, nothing is guaranteed for any of us. Nothing.

So, by god, if we’ve got a chance to eat cupcakes and dance like crazy people and celebrate “fake” occasions together, let’s do it. Because it is what will get them – and us – through the harder moments in life.


11 responses to “Let There be Cupcakes!

  1. Well said, Jordan! I’m sure it was a night none of you … least of all Lyle … will soon forget.

    We celebrated SB’s half birthday for the first time last year (with half a birthday cake) and he’s already asking if we’re doing it again this coming June.

    Feel better soon.

  2. Hear, hear! You’ve given me a brilliant idea. Happy Half Birthday to Lyle.

  3. Happy Lyle’s Half Birthday to all of you!

  4. Happy half to Lyle! What a lucky guy to have a mom like you. And what a good reminder that appreciating all the good we have is reason enough to celebrate!

  5. For crying out loud, Jordan! Your post from yesterday got me feeling all maternal for kiddos I do not yet have, this post is just about going to do me in!! 🙂

  6. You, my friend, are brilliant. And yes, this is absolutely what it’s all about. Nothing is guaranteed for any of us, and I don’t want to miss a single opportunity to eat cupcakes and dance around the kitchen.

    Thank you!

    And happy half to Lyle!!!

  7. Lori at Spinning Yellow

    You are so right! Take those opportunities when you can. Thank you for reminding me. This is what life is all about. Cupcakes and dancing!

  8. Wow – I needed this reminder, too, and I work with people that have CANCER for god’s sake. You would think I would would live each day as my last, but that does not happen. ANYWAY. Thank you, Friend! Let there be cupcakes, indeed. xo!

  9. Yes! Yes! Yes! And HAPPY HALF-BIRTHDAY, LYLE! (yes, I am shouting…with glee)

    Everyone else in the NICU thought I was the crazy lady because EVERY month I would make up a really cool sign for Nik’s “Monthiversary” and bring in some little treat for the staff. We learned very, very early that you just can’t take life for granted. As we get farther away from those days, we tend to forget a bit; thanks for the beautiful reminder.

  10. Look at that face! That perfect preschooler dinner!

    You are teaching him how to be fabulous at a very, very young age.

    Well done.

    May I suggest trying the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe for Coconut Cupcakes? Pure decadence.


  11. Is this the sweetest birthday a boy ever had OR WHAT!?

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