June Fourth every year I get the chance to celebrate one of the most wonderful women I know: my Mama.
Although I have already spoken about the maternal wonder she is, her birthday is a chance to celebrate all the other parts that come together to create the complex and beautiful creature that is Bente Chatwin.
This day is a chance to bake fragrant vanilla cupcakes in pretty spotty-pink papers to celebrate the way you genuinely care for everyone you meet; you believe the very best of everyone you meet and give them the safe space to prove you right; you listen to their stories with respect, and have generally amazing and on-point advice to give them.
This day is a chance to pipe pink frosting on a cupcake in honour of your infectious, cackling laugh, which I can’t help but coax out of you sometimes by just being a goose. I still remember a near wheezing fit caused by Dad’s impression of Mr Bean many years ago, and a recent bout of hysterics when I decided to bump and grind in the kitchen while baking. You, of course, joined in – my first dance teacher.
A chance to adorn the frosting with multi-coloured sprinkles to commemorate the joy you bring to even the simplest everyday situations. You taught me that every day is special. Not just the holidays designated throughout the year, but the Tuesdays and Wednesdays of the year too. Every morning is a chance to take time to have a cup of tea with someone you love and use the good china. Every weekend at the farmer’s market is an opportunity to revel in the company of the ones you love. Every day is special because we are all still here, living and loving and thankful to be together for just one more day on this beautiful earth.
The Fourth of June is the day to light the candle atop that frosted, sprinkled cupcake to praise you. To praise your all encompassing love; your insatiable hunger for cop shows, paperback novels, Skittles, cuddles, and craft supplies; your faith in all of us to live our own dreams and to make them happen; to praise the way you are always there to put us together and pick us up again when we break and fall and fail; the way you make time even when you are running late so I can tell you ‘just one more thing’; the way you put aside your own needs to help another; and the way you are just a completely amazing woman.
Happy birthday Mama. I can’t wait to celebrate your birthday all over again this weekend at a table surrounded by all your children, birth and otherwise.
Here’s to all the candles, and many, many more.
I love you.
Dear reader, here is the link to the recipe I used for these delicious cakes. Decorate flamboyantly, there really is no other way.