Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Birthday Party

yesterday we threw my son a surprise party for his 23rd birthday. i know that 25 is more of a milestone than 23 but i wanted to make it more momentous. i ran to town the first thing in the morning to sign up at the unemployment office and to have a few photos made. i bought a white board which was perfect to attach the various pictures of zvi to commemorate his first 23 years. i spent hours the night before trimming and assorting the pictures more or less by age. i had one from his bris, one from his pidyon ben, and one each from his first and second birthdays wearing crowns. there was one of his first haircut when he turned three, and one of his kissing his tsitsis for the first time. i had one of him lighting the chanukiah at a young age, and two shots of him at the kotel (the wailing wall). i had the 'bar mitzvah boy' shot complete in suit and tie and black hat. i also included a couple of shots from the bad teenager period. i was missing pix of his engagement, wedding and son's bris. so i spent most of the morning in the photo shop.

i also went to the bakery and bought a ton of pitos and rolls. i was so spaced out that i left them in the bakery, on the counter. i was in a taxi on the way home when i realized that i didn't have the bread. i wasn't exactly sure where i had left them so i started back to the bakery. thank goodness, they were there and i was able to jump back into the taxi right away. of course, safta miriam brought home made pitos so once again , i filled up the fridge with bread. too bad we didn't coordinate with each other. our communication is sorely lacking. i also served mini pizza barekas and salty cheese barekas. both remained untouched. i think the dogs will enjoy them during the week. surprisingly enough, the lasagna went. i forgot to buy a large aluminum throw away pan. my pyrex pan was just too shallow to accomodate the entire box of lasagna noodles. so it wasn't my usual, multi layered lasagna.

i returned home from the city at 2:00 p.m. i normally would have started to make the cake and lasagna then but gal wanted to set the table and decorate the dining area. i watched sahar until she finished. she really did an elegant job using my table cloths and plastic goods. i offered to use real cutlery and dishes but she opted for the disposable ones. i had bought very childish birthday napkins and party props but it really didn't go with the fancy gold party bags that she had bought. i put all the birthday goods in the closet and hopefully, we'll get to use them for sahar's first birthday party later this year.

we had planned a ruse that gal would meet zvi in town for a celebratory coffee. everyone else was supposed to arrive at 7:30 p.m. i knew that i would be on babysitting detail so i asked my good pal michal to come a bit early to help me out. i never thought that gal would be leaving as early as 6:00 p.m. i threw together a cake at 5:00 p.m. i have never made one so last minute. i also threw together a pot of pasta sauce and started to layer the lasagna really fast. i quickly chopped up the lettuce and threw it into a huge pot to rinse. i then heated up a little honey and a cup of chocolate chips to add to the whipped cream for the frosting.

i kept staring at the clock and knew that i was running out of time. i tried to reach michal several times to let her know that she was badly needed. i frantically whipped up the cream by hand. i threw the warm cake into the freezer and mixed up the frosting. miraculously, michal appeared. she went upstairs to babysit for sahar and gal left. i threw a vat of frozen french fries into the oven and i also got all the barekas ready to go. the family came over promply, at 730 p.m. they immediately snatched the baby from his carriage. he had been sitting in the television lounge with michal watching the children's channel. when i heard them arrive, i quickly ran over and shut off the television.

not only did miriam bring over two dozen pitos, she also made a vat of french fries and a green salad. that's after i cut up three bags of lettuce. beleive it or not, there was hardly a french frie left over with this crowd. michal frosted the cake while i attended to the last minute details. the birthday 'boy' arrived at 8:15 p.m. and i can't say if he was really surprised or not. i did notice that he was limping. i just remembered that when he was a little boy he called it 'himping'.

apparently, he had dropped a bottle of wine at work and made a mad 'save' with his leg. no doubt this was a reflex from the many years that he played soccer. we were very lucky that he hadn't broken his leg. i rushed to get the arnica and ace bandages from the bathroom. he allowed me to rub some arnica on his ankle area but declined the bandage. today, he was as good as new, thank the Lord! the little boys ran around lighting sparklers until they ran out of gas and fell asleep at the dining room table. no one from my family managed to come. the party broke up at 11:00 p.m. i was too tired to clean up. the girls cleared the table before they left.

in a couple of hours, we are on our way to a live concert. safta miriam is driving tonight. what a luxury to be picked up at the door. they're taking the baby over to the married sister's house. it wouldn't be my first choice. i would bring the baby but the music might be too loud for him. her sister is a bit of an alarmist, not having any children of her own. let's hope that her husband is more relaxed. this should be interesting, to say the least.

the reason that i made an extra effort to bake the cake myself and to prepare his favorite dish and order concert tickets, is that i wasn't 'emotionally' present last year. his birthday came two weeks after my mother died. i was so into my grief that i couldn't even speak to anyone. his sephardi family came over with gifts and goodies and put up balloons and ordered pizzas and made him a party. so this year as my grieving period just ended, i wanted to make up for last year. does that make any sense?


  1. never a dull moment by you-always being creative!

  2. to all readers out there: please send me a comment about my blog

  3. Zvi was pleased and a littled surprised - he did say he would have been upset if the family didn't do anything for his birthday. He enjoyed your lasagna, since I did give him his second and large protion which eat demolished. Also, he was full, but ate a piece of cake because you made it!

  4. I'm glad your son had a good party. The cake sounds so delicious! I just got back from my parents' home in SC; my mom baked a red-velvet cake for me. Yummy!