Carler is E's very best friend, I think, even though he's invisible. He's been in our family for over a year and so if she wants to make her dear friend a cake, why not? I wouldn't say no to that request to honor a flesh-and-blood friend. So we did what we love to do together anyway: we baked. And after her nap, we decorated. String licorice made a great hose. Pretzel sticks made a sturdy ladder. Oreos made tires. M&Ms made headlights and tail lights and jelly beans made the flashing lights on top. We melted white chocolate and let it dry in a sheet and cut our windows; a little black frosting added a nice touch of realism with some windshield wipers.
Carler's not really real, Mommy. I had never heard her admit that before and was thrown off. "It's okay, honey, you still love him, right?" Right. I mean, he IS real, I'm just PRETENDING he's not real. "That's okay, love. You can pretend. Let's get your daddy and sister so we can sing 'Happy Birthday.'"
And so we did.
September 6, 2009
Still life in honor of Carler and all friends near and far, visible and not. In honor of making wishes and refining dreams and in honor of childhoods filled with lots and lots of excuses for cake.
Portrait of the birthday boy.
Happy birthday, Carler. I've held you in my arms many times but never seen you. We speak almost daily but I've never heard you. You're my mystery child, the first-born son I would never otherwise have had. I don't entirely understand you, but I love you.