I'm home by myself baking A's birthday cake, a chocolate orange guinness (yes, guinness, that guinness) cake and shoutcasting random music from my giant miscellaneous folder for the mechazens. I'm happy. Baking makes me happy; this fact has contributed significantly to the decline and fall of my waistline over the years, but fuck it. Baking cakes or bread or muffins or something on a cold winter night just cheers me up no end; I have no idea why. I'm puttering around with a couple little art projects; I'm drinking beer; I'm just kind of cheerful. It's nice.
It strikes me that guinness is appropriate for A's cake: when she was a baby she was colicky and I had no idea what to do. I pretty much had no idea what to do with her at the best of times; I was 19 and scared, and all I could really do was just love this dark haired baby (she was born with a full head of dark hair; she still has it) to the ends of time and the earth. I didn't even give her a bath until she was 11 days old and my mother arrived, poor duck, I was too afraid that I might slip or something. Anyway, one colicky night I called my ex mother in law, who is one of the most wonderful women I have ever met, a level headed mother of five Irish kids, and said, help, what do I do? She told me to sit in a rocking chair and drink a guinness and nurse the baby, and lo if it didn't calm me down, calm A down and generally contribute to the quality of our life in a most amazing way. Now I use that as my piece of advice to new mothers - even though I still don't like guinness, and when A was a baby I practically had to choke the stuff down. And here she is 23. Dag.
Tonight A came home between birthday sets and sobbed miserably for a few moments, poor child: birthdays are tough and they're just never as great as you want them to be. It's like New Years Eve times twelve or something; I know how she feels. Then she cheered up, got dressed up and a bunch of her friends appeared at the door, which made Theo insanely happy. Theo loves parties, even extremely short ones that are really just somebody's friends picking them up. So he bounced and barked and A's friends clomped about and made a lot of noise and music played and all was genial chaos.
Then one of her friends stepped into the kitchen and told me I was the most beautiful woman he had ever met. It seems terrible and vain to write this down, but you know what? Wow. It's not every day a 23 year old boy tells me I'm gorgeous, and I intend to treasure this moment for the rest of my life. Of course, I blushed and laughed and said, "Honey, you must not get out much!" but, well, damn. Damn. And here I haven't brushed my hair in two days and I'm wearing red and black fleece pajama pants and a huge black wooly sweater that's mostly covered with flour from the cake process and probably he was just overcome by the baking fumes, but dag, I am all cheerful now.