I Wish I Would Have Saved One From Each Birthday and Why is it So Hard to Throw Out the Candles?

We make towering cakes, slather them with frosting and poke long wax sticks in the top.

We sing “Happy Birthday” off pitch.

They blow out the candles…

…making sure not to leave one burning so the aunts and uncles won’t tease them about having a girlfriend.

We slice the cake, revealing mammoth layers of soft chocolate and lip smacking frosting.

Everyone leaves and it’s time to clean up the mess. But why is it so hard for us to throw out the candles? Is it because they were only lit long enough to sing one rendition of “Happy Birthday” before the smoke drifted through the kitchen?

Or does it make us sad to see our babies getting older and we’re overcome with nostalgia? Are we afraid we’ll lose the memories of each party, each balloon, each cake, each smile, each celebration?

Or are we afraid they will forget?

Sweet and burning wishes,


Note: I didn’t post the cake recipe because it’s from a cookbook and I don’t have permission to copy it. The cookbook is The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook, More Than 100 Recipes from the Best Little Bakery in the South. I used the chocolate heaven with chocolate buttercream recipe on pages 82-84.

It’s one of my favorite cookbooks. There’s a strawberry frosting recipe on page 78 that is also wonderful. And the chocolate chip cookie recipe on page 172 is pretty much the only one I use now. My book is getting worn. Our local library has a copy so maybe you could check it out there to see what you think. Let me know if you try it.



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