Yesterday morning I dropped Noah off at his school and watched him head inside, wheeling a suitcase behind him. He's off on a two-day, two-night field trip to an outdoor adventure camp by the Chesapeake Bay with his classmates. All 300 of them.
Who decided all these tiny babies were suddenly ready for this shit? Who decided the grownups were?
It was nice to see that most sixth graders are still willing to publicly hug and kiss their parents goodbye, and that this was a Big Deal for plenty of other families -- some cars were packed with moms and dads and grandparents and siblings to wave off their newly official Super Big Kid Who Takes Suitcases Overnight Now.
Other kids were clearly sleepaway camp veterans, bouncing out of cars with an overstuffed duffel bag because maybe they have a better understanding of what "several changes of inner and outer clothing" actually looks like for two days at one of these places -- I just kept adding stuff until there wasn't anymore room for stuff. What if his sweatshirt gets muddy? What if all his socks get wet?
Electronics of any kind were strictly prohibited, so Noah had to leave his Gizmo watch behind (Ezra quickly claimed temporary custody of it in the meantime). He did NOT like this idea, but I told him there was a phone he could use if he really needed to call us.
So far, he hasn't. That's good! I guess? Gah.
For his birthday, Noah requested a Victoria sandwich cake (after seeing one on the Great British Bake-Off, naturally). He made this decision months ago and stuck to it. He felt very, very strongly about having a Victoria sandwich birthday cake, despite never having tasted one before. It was a cake that looked like a sandwich! He LOVES sandwiches. He's actually only lukewarm on most cakes. This was the one for him, clearly.
I'd never made one before, and admittedly this first attempt would have roundly lost the technical challenge after a couple rookie recipe errors.
(If I'd been watching myself from the couch I would've been screaming "THAT BUTTER IS NOT ROOM TEMPERATURE YET YOU BLOODY IDIOT! AND NOW YOU'VE GONE AND OVERWORKED YOUR SPONGE! DON'T YOU DARE BLAME THE HUMIDITY LEVELS IN THE TENT!")
It did NOT have a soggy bottom, at least. It did have an embarrassingly droopy middle once flipped over and stacked, however. I solved this problem by shooing everyone out of the kitchen and serving up carefully camouflaged and strategically cut slices.
I'm happy to say that taste-wise, the Victoria sandwich birthday cake met -- nay, completely exceeded -- Noah's expectations. He loved it. He ate it for breakfast the next morning (I mean, it has jam in it? So like, it's a fruit?) and declared it even more delicious the next day.
He had the final slice before he left, and asked if I could please please please make the cake again soon? Before his next birthday? For a special occasion? There's got to be another special occasion before his next birthday, right?
He comes home tomorrow afternoon. Feel like that occasion will call for some cake.