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What’s a Birthday Without Cake?

Disney-Pixar Brave Cake

Today is Anna’s seventh birthday, and because it’s a Saturday, it’s also the day of her party. She picked out her own cake again this year, inspired by her favorite princess movie. The photo of her in her Halloween costume was the perfect touch.

She’s had seven birthday cakes so far, but  the one I remember best was her first. A pink doll cake designed by her Godmother.

Pink doll cake

It’s a good thing we took photos, because the cake didn’t last long once Anna figured out she could eat it. Here’s how I describe Anna polishing off her first birthday cake in A Smile for Anna.

Julia brought the doll cake over and set it on Anna’s tray. Anna titled her head and studied it intently. After a few more photos, Julia pulled the doll top off and scooped a small piece of icing on her finger.

“Here you go.” She placed the icing in Anna’s mouth. Anna stuck her finger in the icing for another taste. Then we all watched as she stripped gobs of pink icing from the cake, shoving them into her mouth. Soon her fingers and face were both covered. Jack and Julia circled the high chair taking photos.

Then she stopped.

“I don’t think she realizes she can eat the cake,” I said.

“Hang on, baby.” Julia set down her camera long enough to reach over and break the cake apart. Anna reached down, grabbed a big fistful and stuffed it in her mouth. Now cake crumbs and icing were mashed all over her face, hands, and forearms.

We had cake too. Chocolate with a scoop each of vanilla ice cream. Julia gave Anna a couple of forkfuls to try as well.

By the time she was done, Anna was coated with a layer of pink and white icing, vanilla and chocolate cake crumbs, and partially melted ice cream. It was all over her face, all over the tray, on her bib, her hands, and on her arms all the way up to her elbows.

“Look,” I said. “She’s even got some on her ear.”

For a one year old, that’s the definition of a happy birthday.

One-year-old Anna covered with cake and ice cream.

A lot has changed in the last six years, but one thing hasn’t. Anna still ends up with cake on her face. Maybe next year, we’ll pick a cake with pink edging instead.

Seven-year-old Anna with blue icing on her face.

Photos @2007 and @2013 by Julia Ozab

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