You can't make them out in this photo, but beneath the glossy surface of chocolate icing stand three fluffy layers of decadently rich chocolate cake. And if that doesn't say happy birthday, I don't know what does.
Happy birthday to my first-born daughter. Today was her big day, and along with all of our usual ceremony and tradition, we found a way to celebrate Covid-style.
Though she lives nearby - when traffic is clear, just a fifteen minute shot down the expressway - we have kept our social distance these past few months. We text pretty much every day, and made a few six-feet-apart rendezvous for some drop-off and pick-up situations, but as far as actual visits go, we have not hung out since this all began.
But we both decided, she and I, that because we have all been very careful in protecting ourselves from infection, we all felt confident in our health and decided to give this visit a go.
And it was lovely. She rolled in around noon, and we went right to work in the kitchen. Taking turns, we pulled together a triple layer chocolate cake, a deep dish of homemade lasagne, caesar salad right down to the homemade croutons and anchovy dressing, and a loaf of garlic-rosemary bread.
In the midst of all that, we also fit in my usual walk with Gracie, plenty of texting with Younger Sister 2, and a considerable amount of tomfoolery with Younger Sisters 3 and 4.
We then ate dinner
collapsed in the family room
eventually revived ourselves for cake and ice cream
and then collapsed again.
In other words, it was a simple and homespun day of birthday fun.
And though Covid forced us to keep the day simple, it also reminded us of what matters most.
Birthdays are for being with the people you love.