You Get to Eat Cake

I woke up late this morning, took a long shower and then hung out with my dad until I had to leave to meet Megan and Karlee for lunch out by the mall.

Karlee had a couple of high school yearbooks tucked under her arm when she walked into Logan's Roadhouse fifteen minutes late and so a quick-ish bite turned into a two-hour affair, which was wonderful in that the three of us laughed a ton but also sad because I left the restaurant feeling old AF.

I changed into outdoor clothes when I got home around three and then my dad and I drove to the state park for a hike through snowy trails to check out the new plaque on my mom's bench (see photo above). Afterwards we picked Harrison up from daycare (he lost his shit when he spotted me through the window), ate Crock-Pot pork chops with Chris and Kel and then my dad and I sat in the living room reading our respective novels until he opted to head to bed a couple of hours ago. I hadn't moved from the big brown armchair that once sat in my parents' bedroom in our house on Robinhood until I finished Marc Acito's How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship, and Musical Theater just now. Below is my favorite passage, which I know B will skip over because he never reads the quotes.

This is the magic moment of birthday cakes, the moment that Paula and I love most. This is that time when they turn out the lights and everybody starts smiling at you and your mother comes through the door and the only light in the room is that fuzzy sort of glow from the flame on your birthday cake shining on your mother's face. And your mom is smiling that proud kind of "I'm your mom" smile and you're smiling that embarrassed kind of "this is my day" smile. And then you close your eyes and make a wish, any wish you want because it's your day. Then you blow out the candles and everyone claps and then, best of all, you get to eat cake.

To be honest, I don't like cake, it's way too quiet here and I can sense my mom everywhere. How is it possible that someday this will all be normal?