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I Am (NOT) a Birthday Planning Failure

June 27, 2013

don't point your cake pops at me

Worn out, used up, bone dry.

Fatigue pulls at me, whining in harmony with the voices of my children. It has been a week of giving, constant giving, from sunrise to sunset and well beyond, eight straight days, each one running into the other. I finish one birthday, one event, race home to unpack the dregs of that day and repack for the next. An exhausting cycle of wet towels, lunchboxes and VBS.

Today marks the end of the marathon and if you had asked me yesterday, I would have told you that I’d held up well. No migraines, didn’t get sick. Every i was dotted and every t was crossed.

Birthday success was mine! All mine! Mwahahahaha!

As I dropped my smallest prince off at camp this morning, lugging in three bags of doughnut holes so that he could bask in the glory of HIS day, this last day in our marathon of celebrating, I overheard another child say:

“My birthday is on Friday and my mom is bringing in cake pops for everybody!”

Unlike during the school year, when class parties consist of 18 easily prepared cupcakes or brownies or goody bags, during the summer there are up to 75 hungry monsters. In past years I’ve managed homemade cookies, but this week, given the timing, there was no time.

Store-bought, processed, high-fructose corn syrup infused doughnut holes. It was the very best I could do and he was thrilled. I felt good about it until her words slapped across my fragile ego, and the inference dug it’s nails into my arm. As if her mother were standing next to me, with agave nectar on her cheek and whole wheat flour on her apron, waving homemade cake pops in my face and calling me a loser.

I dragged through the rest of the day in a haze, realizing that this fatigue, this incessant pulse of preparations has blurred my vision. All that had gone well faded in the acrid light of the one thing I didn’t do. I didn’t make homemade treats.

I cannot see straight. I cannot see the truth.

Fatigue becomes a filter, blurring our vision when we are at our most vulnerable, hiding the truth that what we are doing, what we have done, is enough and we are worthwhile.

In the morning haze of the following day, clarity returned. Sleep, the antidote to a thousand ills.

I did the best that I could and I did a good job. My boys have had fun this week. They felt celebrated and loved, and they don’t give a flying flip that the treats they shared with their co-campers were not hand-spun from flax I’d grown in my organic garden.

Don’t point your cake pops at me, lady.

This was the best I could do, and it was enough.

cake popsImage Source

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Sandy Dawson permalink
    June 27, 2013 8:19 am

    Adelle – Thank you so much for always cutting right through to the important! ” Don’t point your cake pops at me, lady,” is priceless and I think I will keep that as my mantra for many areas of life these days (even Grammies still feel like we don’t do enough sometimes). You are my hero!

    • June 27, 2013 8:40 am

      Oh, Sandy…I’m gobsmacked you would say such a thing! You mothered all of us chicks through college with such wisdom and sagacity. I guess it never gets easier, does it? We all just need to stick together!

  2. Christie permalink
    June 27, 2013 1:15 pm

    Adelle- I can bet that that girl’s mom didn’t make her cake pops either (she can buy them just as easily as any cake). I say that as a person who has sold cake pops for a living, btw. You are still a good mom, no matter what you bring in! And I say THAT as a person who’s own mom has forgotten MY birthday.

  3. June 28, 2013 6:34 am

    Loved it Adelle! I know exactly how you feel. We homeschool and I sometimes STILL feel like I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off just trying to keep up.

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