A family birthday party for your Mother. How nice. You know we don’t get along. Your Mother is just too uptight and controlling but you think she’s sweet. They say men marry a woman just like Mom. I believe it’s true, more or less.
So, when I whisper to you… telling you I baked a little surprise into the birthday cake I baked and decorated for her… you freeze. You actually stop walking on the way to the kitchen with the cake.
“You didn’t really? Did you?” You ask.
You hold your breath so I wait to answer just because I’m being contrary today.
“Would I really do something like that?” I ask.
I can see you’re wondering now. I’ve put you on the spot. I like putting you there. So I twist the screws, just a bit tighter…”I don’t think anyone would even notice anyway.”
You still haven’t put the cake on the kitchen counter. You look like a still life painting. I’d call you “Mama’s Boy Caught Between a Rock and a Birthday Cake”. I smile nicely and leave the kitchen.
Later, hours after letting you twist in the wind, we’re bringing the remains of the cake home after the party and you feel happy. It was a nice party, no unexpected surprises. Your hand wanders over my knee as we leave the highway, nearly home. I know you’re feeling good, relaxed and content.
“I wonder if your Mother opened the present I got her yet?”