I can’t believe he is 12, this not-so-tiny person of mine. And he has been waiting for his birthday for a long time. A long, long time. Someone, and I am not pointing fingers here, but it was me, promised him the one thing he wanted more than anything else in the whole wide world, an Xbox One. That someone was mostly riddled with parental (motherly) guilt about how last year we were on the road so we didn’t do presents, and on Christmas we were in Israel so we did only small presents, and how he has no school to go to, or friends to be with, or a stable home and how we are ruining his life, and all he wants is an Xbox. That same someone, again without the finger pointing, did not take into account the country move, the home move, the fact that we have no idea how to order online here, or how long it takes, or how we can afford it right now with all the moving and settling down costs.
But promise it we did, and everyone knows you have to keep your promises. So we made a deal with him, he will get his precious Xbox, and three games of his choosing (plus, obviously, the FIFA) and that will be his only birthday present. He agreed (mostly because it was either that or no presents) and we set out in search of an Xbox. We were really happy to see that they sell overpriced Xboxes here in Malta, and even more ecstatic to discover we can order it for a much more reasonable price from Amazon UK and deliver it to Hidai’s work. And contrary to what we told Ron, mainly because we snagged it for a good price and we had some money left over from the move, we added most of everything else that was on his wish list as a surprise.
Both kids are not big on birthday parties, but they are big on birthday traditions, and the one they like most (except birthday presents) is their birthday cake. Each and every person in the house gets a heart-shaped birthday cake for their birthday. Except last year, when no one really got any cake. Or this year, because we might have moved into what will be our home, but all our things, including my baking supplies, are still in Berlin (sore, sore point). But someone, yes it was that same someone, again riddled with parental guilt about the fact that though his birthday was on Friday, we will only celebrate it on Saturday, promised Ron a proper birthday cake. With no recipe, proper ingredients, a mixer, measuring cups, or a heart-shaped pan. Sure, it is going to be a piece of cake.
This someone should really stop promising things.
Hidai got the balloons, my parents got him a huge transformer he really wanted as an extra gift, Ron picked out his own card (which Hidai is in charge of filling with meaningful words), Yon wrote a card as well, and I finally remembered we should buy some wrapping paper and candles for the non-existing cake, which there was no way of faking and buying, because now both kids have decided they want to help with making the cake, and someone said “oh, what a great idea! I’ve been waiting for 12 years for someone to want to bake with me!”
Honestly, I should’ve just hit myself on the head.
After I tried to find my favourite recipe online and mishmashed three different ones until I was relatively sure I can find the ingredients and it will end up being yummy, the kids and I went to the over-the-car-dealership-supermarket on Friday to get all the ingredients and we only forgot the cocoa and one of the two double creams. Something I discovered at 7pm when we started making the cake. Staying positive and all that, I mishmashed the recipes again, and we all set out to make our first cake together ever, my first attempt at baking in more than a year, and the first time in a long long time I used medieval things like measuring-cups instead of normal, modern, accurate scales. But hey, baking is all about the feeling anyway, right?
We ended up with a star shaped cake and four cupcakes, all topped with chocolate ganache there is no way I can duplicate ever again, and lots of heart-shaped chocolates on top.
Saturday morning Yon woke up to see the cake with all the trimmings, and all the gifts he was not expecting, and immediately started screaming for Ron. So we got up as well, I mean what else could we do? We got my parents on Skype, read the cards, opened all the gifts and ate the cake (which turned out surprisingly tasty. I still got it), before we threw the kids out of the living room, because someone said it will be a good idea to see who will win in a battle between the new transformer and the remote control car, and collapsed on the sofa with some much needed coffee and cake.
We even got about ten minutes of rest before the transformer’s batteries needed to be charged, the LEGO got built and it was time to start connecting the Xbox. I think this is the most frustrating part of this kind of gifts – the two hours it takes to connect, update, and download everything so you can start using it. Ron popped up every two minutes to see if it is working already, Yon was running around with LEGO parts, and we started to fear we got the wrong Xbox from Amazon – one without FIFA.
It was a stressful hour, but we managed to find and download the FIFA, charge all the remotes, and because such is life, right when Ron sat down to start playing we needed to leave, so we can get to the main event – watching Guardians of the Galaxy 2 in the cinema. Unfortunately we did not account for traffic, mainly because it did not cross our minds that there could be traffic at 11 am on a Saturday. We arrived at the cinema with not enough time to eat lunch before the movie, but too much time to just go straight inside, so we decided to just tour the shopping centre and add movie popcorn to the mandatory large bag of M&Ms we have to have every movie, and then lunch. Yon doesn’t like popcorn so he got M&S pretzels. The movie started and lets just say no one ate lunch, or dinner, that day. Apparently a large bag of really and truly overly salty movie popcorn is too much for us to handle (also it took about three hours for everyone’s lips to stop throbbing. Really over-salty).
The movie was a huge success though. It is always a question with sequels, and with 3D movies (for us, because of Yon’s fear of 3D glasses), so I was really impressed with both Yon and the movie for not ruining Ron’s birthday, even though we all cried there at the end.
Yeah, I can’t believe he is 12, this not-so-tiny person of mine, but mostly I can’t believe I now have less than a year to organise his 13th birthday (for us Jewish people it’s a big deal. You know, the Bar-Mitzvah thing). Let the countdown begin.