My birthday is five days before Christmas, and his is five days after. Truly, I have the better deal. Once Christmas has been celebrated, the world is weary, and even the things on the must-do list fall by the wayside. The year Camden turned two, I was especially tired, and I could barely make his birthday happen. I bought a cake, and then I felt guilty that I bought a cake, so I frosted over the existing decorations so it would look homemade. I wasn't trying to impress anyone, it was only the four of us at the table, so I did it for... me. I remember being in tears over it, and Eric thinking I had lost my mind.
Then I didn't know that the cake was just a cake... and the centerpiece of the celebration was the people and the love around the table. I wasn't comfortable enough in my motherhood to take what I considered the easy route... and I certainly didn't realize that some people always buy the cake. I didn't yet know that the mess of motherhood can be beautiful.
I piled up some donuts on a plate, stuck a broken sugar "happy birthday" on the top, and called it his birthday cake. He thought it was the best idea ever, and he was thrilled.
I have come a long way in these seventeen years, learning to find the joy in the mess, and accepting grace when I don't live up what I thought I would be. I have learned I don't have to try to be perfect... that their idea of the perfect Mom is the one they have.