December 18, 2017

Black Icing

black icing

Image from

By Sel Richard

My son, who is turning 9, just asked for black icing on his birthday cake.

“Black?  Really?  Isn’t that a little dark?” I was worried that perhaps he had played one too many violent video games.

“Dude!  It’s cool!”  My son is certain in the coolness of black.  His favorite shirt is black.  His most recent school artwork was replete with a black night sky.  He pulled out some black construction paper to make a birthday party hat for fun.  I carefully spread the black icing on his chocolate cake.

“Well, do you want sprinkles on it too?”  Surely, colored sprinkles would completely cancel out the cool factor.  I braced myself for an onslaught of eye-rolling disdain.

“Yeah!  Sprinkles!”  He jumped up and down and clapped his hands.

I am not a baby mom.  I don’t love babies.  They cry, drool, spit up and you have to clean up their shit.  I much prefer kids when they understand English and you can actually have a conversation with them.  When I had my second child, I knew I was done.  I cried hallelujah when my youngest stopped taking naps.  I was ecstatic when my son started to brush his own teeth.  I have welcomed each stage of growing independence with glee as my days slowly became less about bodily functions and more about intellectual, emotional and social development.

But my son is turning 9.  That’s half-way to college.  That’s only 2 years to middle school.  Next year he’ll be in double digits.  Time is not marching on.  It is flying like an F/A-18 Hornet.  Enjoying the present is a gift that gets given and taken away every day of the year.  Every day, I see both my children growing older and wiser.  But thank goodness my almost 9-year-old son still loves to cuddle and snuggle with me.  And even on days when the eye-rolling disdain is at an all time high, he’s still a boy who gets so excited about his birthday party that he needs his mom to rub his back so he’ll fall asleep.  And I gobble up those moments like chocolate cake with black icing.

Sel Richard is a stay-at-home mother of two


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