In my family, everyone got a cake on their birthday.
It was always a surprise.
No one knew it was coming until they entered a darkened room and the family starting singing Happy Birthday.
That was how it was supposed to go, and how it went for my entire life; at least five times a year, probably more with Mother’s and Father’s Day and my parents’ anniversary.
We’d go out to dinner and come home.
There was a bit of awkward talking, waiting for the surprise moment.
At some point, my mother asked the birthday person to do her a favor so they would leave the room. When we were older, we’d fake going to the bathroom.
Once the candles were lit and the lights turned out, my mom would call the bitthday person back down to the dining room.
The singing would start and then we’d blow out the candles, turning the lights back on. Plates and forks. Cake and frosting. I love frosting.
We never saw it coming.
Surprise family cakes were the best.