Sunday, October 10, 2004

Last weekend we celebrated Anne's birthday in Nashville.

I drove to Nashville and picked up my nephew Jay at the airport. He lives in the Virginia Beach area and does actuarial work for Towers-Perrin firm.

Jay drove back to Anne's house. We were in rush hour traffic and it was particularly bad. It made him appreciate his home.

Anne drove the kids and I to the grocery store to buy the ingredients for her birthday cake. They told her to stay in the car and said we were buying candy. Ordinarily she would have vetoed that.

The kids were great, as usual. I kept them that night as Anne, Ken, and Jay went to the airport to pick up Beth and her boyfriend Steve Kilgore.

We made Anne's cake. They did almost all of the work. Emma could have almost done it by herself but the boys needed a lot of instructions. Anne says that they had had the same experience but that Emma just pays attention more.

When we discussed the number of candles to put on the cake, I told him about my mother's 83rd birthday where we put the correct number of candles on the cake and it totally melted all the candles and the frosting. They were interested in the melted frosting so when the cake came out of the oven I let them put a little frosting on it to see it melt. George said he needed to do experiments because he is going to be a scientist when he grows up. He is getting more sophisticated because he used to say he was going to be a person who fixes things. Both are improvements on his first ambition. He wanted to grow up to be Scooby Doo. At that time, Adam wanted to grow up to be a Triceratops and Emma wanted to be Barbie. (And wouldn't we all like to be Barbie.)

They decided they should put only 13 candles on the cake. Anne was a little insulted that they seemed to consider her age and Mother's as equivalent.

Adam did most of the stirring with his left hand. I asked Anne about it later. She said that early on she thought he might be left-handed but that right was his own choice.

They had disagreed on the kind of frosting to get, so we bought both chocolate and vanilla. They put vanilla on the inside and the top of the cake and then put chocolate on the sides. Someone had the idea to write Anne on top of the cake so they did that using candles dipped in the chocolate frosting.

The cake was done and we carried it up to my room so Anne could not see it. George wrote a note that said "Do not go in. Mom and Dad. "and laid it on the floor in front of the bedroom door.

That night Adam slept with me. George and Emma slept on the floor of my room and Beth slept on the day bed in the same room. Steve slept in the boys' room and Jay slept in the pink palace that is Emma's room.

There were five people sleeping in the my room and Beth and I considered ourselves lucky.

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