It was time to throw a party. Mia, my 8-year old daughter Ava’s American Girl Doll, was turning 4. Ava had been obsessing about this party since Christmas - even more so than her own birthday party, although that wasn’t until June. On ventures to the Mall of America, she’d beg, just one more visit to the the American Girl store? Mia really needs some new shoes. I pressed her, Really?
I decided that there should be no harm in letting her spend her hard-earned money (received by way of birthday and holiday cards, actually) on gifts for a doll. Super practical! In looking for the larger meaning here, I agreed, Yes, Mia did need some new shoes. She also needs someone to stress about hosting the perfect birthday party – inviting the guests, making the food and drink, decorating and finding activities to keep the guests entertained. Don’t forget the party favors!
She will certainly appreciate my eight-years worth of effort in planning her birthday parties, all hosted at our house, when she’s through with Mia’s party. I got out a box of mish-mashed decor from the years and she set out on the task. She invited one special cousin, Ravelle, and two of her American Girls to join Mia and Ava’s other American Girl doll, Piper. That’s a tally of six. For this party, Ava chose to invite her cousin AND make her help with the cake prep and serving work. …hmmmm, I could take a lesson from this.
The two of them made a simple cake Ava picked out from a Hersey’s dessert book she had checked out from the library. Thanks to SaraLee’s pound cake, the cake part was a wrap. It was more about the filling between the 4 layers and the whipped chocolate topping.
The girls added ingredients and I supervised the mixing. Then it was time to frost – patience, wrist movement and correct depth of frosting were attempted and averagely executed. Ravelle mentioned her previous sessions with her Grandma, an excellent cake baker and decorator. We all agreed, frosting was a skill to keep trying to perfect.
After the frosting, seemingly the glue for the cake layers, was to their liking, their eyes lit up at the prospect of what to do with the mixer beaters and spatulas with all that unused frosting. Later, with that task licked, they were ready to serve cake to the party guests and guest of honor. The AG dolls behaved themselves as they silently joined us in the H B D song. The AG cats and dogs, although panting over the layer cake, also acted appropriately.
Mia glowed on her birthday, in her new birthday dress with those shoes her “mom” just had to have for her. I was surprised at how this simple gesture for a doll brought Ava so much pleasure. Reminded me of why I, and all of us parents, go to the trouble. Happy Birthday, Mia!