Mexican Food and Mutant Cupcakes

We recently celebrated my daughter’s birthday…, well, “celebrate” probably isn’t the most accurate word. Oh, we tried to make it a celebration but this year, things just didn’t go as planned.

Initially, it seemed as though it was going to be a wonderful celebration. Gracie had invited four of her friends to a sleepover. Weather permitting, we were going to have a pool party. If the weather was bad, I was going to take them to get pedicures. Gracie was looking forward to it. Things started going south right away.

Only one of her friends responded to the invitation while the other three never called back, despite Gracie’s repeated attempts at calling them. I asked her if she was ok with just having one friend over and she said she was fine with that. Ok, then, I thought, we’ll just make it a super celebration for her and her best friend.happy birthday

Then came the rain. Not just a nice summer rain, mind you, but a relentless downpour that never stopped. It started the day before her birthday and has yet to stop. So the pool was out of the question. I made reservations for Gracie and her friend to get pedicures.

Gracie wanted cupcakes instead of a cake so we spent the day before her birthday baking a batch. Now, I realize I’m no Martha Stewart but I’m no slouch in the kitchen either. I have baked many a batch of cupcakes in my day. So what went wrong with this batch? Everything. Either I left something out or I’m unaware of some special dance you’re supposed to do in order to successfully bake in a downpour. All I can say is thank goodness kids like icing more than the cupcakes themselves. We slathered on the icing until the cupcakes were almost too top-heavy to stand.

The morning of Gracie’s birthday I received a text from her best friend’s mother. Gracie’s friend had a fever of 105. My heart broke for my daughter. I asked her if she wanted to go for a pedicure with me but that was immediately rejected. Apparently I’m not the fun pedicure companion I thought I was.

So, it was on to Emergency Plan B. I called my husband, and we arranged to take Gracie to her absolute favorite restaurant in Nashville – the Aquarium Restaurant. We braved the monsoon and drove to the mall where the restaurant is located. This wasn’t a carefully thought-out plan. A rainy July 4th weekend means many other people had their outdoor plans ruined. What do those people do? They go to the mall. Apparently, they all decided to go to the same mall. We couldn’t find a parking space so my husband dropped us off at the entrance. Our job was to secure a place on line for the restaurant. Scott’s job was to find a parking space somewhere within the county line and not get washed away on the long walk back to the mall. We all failed. The wait for the restaurant was beyond my kids’ patience level. My husband called and said he had been circling the mall, following old ladies as they walked to their cars, only to discover they were merely storing their shopping bags in there and then heading back to the mall. No one was surrendering a parking space. Gracie, Jack and I walked back outside and huddled under my travel-size umbrella (yet another poorly planned idea) while waiting for Scott to come around. We dove into the car as quickly as we could but we were already almost completely drenched.

We found a restaurant down the road that didn’t have a wait. There was a reason there was no wait but we wouldn’t realize that until later in the evening when all of us were searching through the medicine cabinet for antacid medication.

There was a bright spot for Gracie on this birthday though. I had been thinking about letting her have a cell phone this year or waiting another year or two. I’m so glad I decided to get it this year. When she opened the package, it didn’t matter that no one showed up for her birthday or that it rained relentlessly and we ate Mexican food that may or may not be fatal or that she had mutant cupcakes that needed to be propped up on the plate.

I do hope the novelty of having a cell phone wears off quickly though. Because she is only allowed to call or text a very limited number of people, she has been texting me all weekend. She texts me to find out how long I’ll be in the bathroom… what we’re having for dinner… what Griffin is barking about… can she have a snack… in fact, she’s texting me right now to ask what I’m writing about.

Happy birthday, Gracie. I love you!

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