Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Francesca

Today is my youngest daughter's 17th birthday. I am shocked. How did this happen? Where was I while all those years slipped away? I better start paying closer attention.

Francesca is away this year, living in Italy. So we can't feel too sorry for her not being home for her birthday. Besides, for this year, Italy is her home!

But we can feel sorry for ourselves. Because if the birthday girl is away, is there cake? And if there's no cake, is there a birthday?  It's a little like the old saying: if a tree falls in the middle of the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Put in birthday terms, if my daughter turns 17, and I don't get to eat cake, does she still turn 17?

Well, I didn't want to take a chance on leaving her suspended in some sort of 16/17 limbo. I'd be stuck hearing Liesl from 'The Sound of Music' sing 'I am sixteen going on seventeen' in my head for a whole year.

If Francesca were home, I'd have baked her a cake, probably banana.  It's one of her favorites. There were a couple of years when her birthday fell on Thanksgiving, and we had to eat dinner early enough to let the pie settle.  Because of course we'd have birthday cake later in the evening.  Again, it seemed unfair to her--and the rest of us--to skimp on birthday cake or Thanksgiving pie.  But I took the easy way out this year.

I bought a cake. I was at Ken's for bread anyway. And the prettiest little chocolate cake was sitting there, with a yellow pansy smiling up at me.  So I brought it home, and we'll all have a piece tonight, and wish Francesca a happy birthday, and let her cross over to 17.


Kathleen Bauer said...

I love it that you're such a thoughtful person! I mean, who'd want to be sixteen foreeeeeeever? Great essay…

traci said...

I agree Giovanna, how is it that little Franny is now 17!

lshere said...

And I'm still remembering the day she was born.

Francesca said...

mom thats a beautiful cake!!

And well yes you had to celebrate it for me because I didn't get to celebrate it at all!! My family doesn't do anything to celebrate birthdays (apparently) so it was quite different from home. It made me more homesick than I've been so far!!!!

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