Today was a day I had a lot planned for my twins. Ice cream cake, pizza, a sleepover with friends and possibly surprise gifts. Instead, we woke up to giggling girls, skipped breakfast, ate badam kathli, downed a simple kootu and rice for lunch, napped and cuddled as a family and spent the rest of the day doing crafts.
The girls sewed, set up a vacuum chamber and covered ceramic pieces with Skinz and watched crystals grow from rocks.
“This is a great day!”
I heard the refrain too many times to count and each time it filled me up with happiness and joy. It also was a lesson for me in many ways.
As someone who enjoys celebrating anything, birthdays are especially special as are the markers. Cake, balloons, gifts are the minimum I want to include.
Today instead of baking a cake, I measured almond flour and sugar. I shelled cardamom and ground it to a fine powder. I dug out the saffron from the fridge and set it aside. I stood by the stove toasting the almond flour, making a simple syrup and combining it all to make a chewy delicacy my children enjoy.
I could have ordered gifts but I opted to raid my store of unused gifts and let the children pick what they wanted. I gave up on balloons for the past couple of years because of how harmful it is to the environment. I gave up on writing cards as I see them head to the trash the next day.
Despite my failings or what I saw as my failings, my children reveled in the new to them gifts, they snacked on the badam sweet all day, they enjoyed spending time crafting with each other. They posed happily for pictures; they spent a good part of the morning video chatting with extended family. They scanned through the birthday wishes that came streaming in through my social media feed and messaging apps. They leaned in for hugs and laughed loudly as I planted loud kisses on their forehead.
The laughter and smiles more than made up for the lack of friends or the promised ice cream cake. If the workweek had me feeling inadequate, today more than made up for it.
This quarantine thing may not be so bad after all.