26 years apart, Debbie and Mason celebrate their birthdays the same day.
Debbie is no newcomer to birthday cake and candles. Her nieces and nephews got a kick putting on 27 candles on her smash cake.
Yes, I said smash cake.
A current fad is to give a one-year-old a small cake to do with as they please as they discover the world of sugar.
Assuming they haven’t over-indulged in their first twelve months of life.
Mason, at one, has had very little of the sweet stuff, so I made a smash cake for him to enjoy. I made one for Debbie to celebrate her momentous entry into this world as well.
Who knew butter and sugar could make someone so excited?
Sitting side by side with their cakes before them, Mason was getting tired. Wiggly and wonky, he was ready to end his day. Celebrating is such work.
Then he mashed his hand into his cake. When the hand met the mouth, the fun began.
I confess I did get a little carried away with the frosting; it was thick amazing. When he tasted it, he broke into a huge grin and let his little fingers fly. Two-fisted fast and furious inhaling of buttery sugar goodness called for cheers and encouragement.
“Go, Mason, go!”
Deb glanced at him with a grin, and with the help of nieces and nephews, destroyed her very pink cake. She didn’t eat much; mostly she and the littles played with it, mashing it in their hands, licking stray frosting flecks that flew with many hands in the newly-created crumbs.
It was a glorious mess. Cake and frosting were on walls, floors, chairs, clothes.
All of it was able to be cleaned up. A little elbow grease and Deb and Taylor’s apartment looked as good as new.
Life is a big smash cake. Appealing and tantalizing, it draws us in with its promise of satisfying our desires for things that may not always be good for us. But in the moment, we celebrate our craving for what looks good, and we follow the wishes of our heart instead of the red flag in our brain.
Cake seems innocuous; a small piece never hurt anyone. But how often is a small compromise followed by greater justification that if some is good, more must be better. Before you know it, half the cake is gone and a definite issue with stomach pain becomes apparent.
This isn’t just about cake.
Each of us is a glorious mess, a stunning shambles. Beautiful by design and creation, marred by the poor choices we’ve made.
God sees our beauty and isn’t deterred by our chaos. He restores the wonder of who we are if we receive from Him the forgiveness and grace He longs to give us.
We’re made for more.
There is no end to the confrontation of the sweet and tasty around us. Those temptations don’t need to define us.
Jesus’ work on the cross cleanses us like nothing we could ever do for ourselves.
I can wrap my hands around that celebration.