From the first moment I saw her, I knew that parenting my firstborn daughter would be the biggest blessing of my life. She eased me into motherhood because she was the easiest going baby ever. The year she turned 5 was truly a special time for us and we wanted to give her a special birthday party to commemorate the event. However, we also had another new baby in the house this same year. To make it easier on ourselves, we decided we would have an out-of-home party so we wouldn’t have to invest the hours of time into having the party at home.
We decided to have a Build-a-Bear Party, with lunch at the nearby California Pizza Kitchen. We would have 12 children (including our daughter), as well as their families to celebrate at lunch with us. My husband would take care of ordering the cake. He was so into cakes and decided he wanted a two-tiered cake because they were so special. My only condition was that it had to have a bear on top of the cake to go with the Build-a-Bear theme. My husband found a bakery that would be convenient to the local mall where we were having everyone meet us for the lunch, and that could do the cake as we desired.
What started out as a simple idea turned into a rather elaborate and expensive idea. Just imagine 12 children ranging in age from 4-8 who were all invited to the party. Then, imagine all of the older siblings, babies, toddlers, and parents of those children who would also be joining us at California Pizza Kitchen. In total, 40 people ended up celebrating our daughter’s 5th birthday with us. We had a few very long tables reserved just for our party alone. We ordered a variety of pizzas, sodas, salads, and pasta to feed everyone. There were kids running around the restaurant noisily while poor bystanders tried to enjoy their lunch. To top off the event, my husband was picking up the cake from the bakery and bringing it to the restaurant (alone, mind you) as we ate.
Half-way into our lunch, he called me on the cell phone to let me know he just found a parking spot at the very crowded mall as everyone waited for the cake. He said that he was late because he had to drive very slowly in the hopes that the cake would not topple over in the car since the bakery could not cover the cake in a box without damaging it. After all, it was 2 layers and quite tall. On top of the cake, was not a plastic bear or a picture of a bear like I imagined, but a bear made completely out of frosting, sitting on its bottom on the top tier of the cake. In addition, California Pizza Kitchen was on the top level of the two-story outdoor mall.
What a sight it must have been for onlookers to see my husband get out of the car with a very large uncovered, two-tiered cake with a frosting bear sitting on top, as he precariously balanced it out of the car, slowly through the parking lot, even slower up the flight of concrete stairs, and into the restaurant. All the while, he was praying that he would not stumble or drop the cake as he walked at a turtle’s pace with it in the open air. My husband later told me that all he could picture in his mind as he carried our daughter’s cake was that baker guy from the old Sesame Street segments carrying several pies and yelling, “Twelve Chocolate Pies!” just before he slipped and toppled down the stairs, ending up with pie all over himself.
Thankfully, he reached his destination with the cake intact and placed it at the end of the table right in front of my daughter. Her eyes lit up when she saw that elaborate cake. Everyone thought the cake was beautiful of course, and the kids had fun making bears at the Build-a-Bear Workshop afterwards, but I will never let my husband forget how hilarious it was to see him with that big cake with the frosting bear on top walking slowly into the restaurant with beads of sweat running down his face. Nor, will we ever forget that even though it was the most expensive birthday we have ever thrown, it certainly was the most memorable.