My big gal is 7 today. SEVEN! I think that's officially big kid territory. Maybe 6 was and I have just been in denial for a year. But there's no doubt about it, she's a big kid now.
I got an email last night from a friend of mine – a very pregnant friend who I am secretly hoping has her baby today – saying she felt like there should be something that parents say to other parents on their children's birthdays. I agree - but I wonder what that would be exactly? Is it congratulations? As in, congratulations on having a 7 year old? That's kind of weird. Is it congratulations as in, congratulations on surviving the drama, the Ramona Quimby obsession, the homework, the playdates, the 16 cartwheels in a row, the 'I-can-make-my-own breakfast, Mom' independence? Would you say "Whoah nellie?" As in, whoah Nellie, your face and your child's face have both really aged in the last 365 days! Would you say "good luck in the coming year"? I suppose that's appropriate but it doesn't acknowledge the sentimentality and amazement that every parent feels about the years that have flown by already. I awoke this morning to the smiling face of my now 7 year old. And in an instant I remembered the day she was born and how it felt to load her into the back seat of our car as we left the hospital and her teeny neck flopped to one side in the seemingly ginormous infant car seat. I remember the first bath I gave her in my kitchen sink and putting her wet slippery 7 pound body into one of those little hooded towels for the first time and wrapping her up in it like a burrito. I remember staring at her for what seemed like infinity and wondering what color her eyes would be and when she would lose her first tooth (grey; 5 yrs old). It sure doesn't feel like yesterday, but it doesn't feel like 7 years ago either.
I've been making cupcakes all morning to bring to her school later. Two flavors: vanilla, from this absolutely phenomenal recipe, and chocolate wacky cake which is dairy and egg free. I got this recipe from a friend of mine years ago and have made it so many times with great success. It's apparently generations old - I guess really a tried and true recipe. I've added dairy free mini chocolate chips from Enjoy Life because I love them.
Here's the recipe for Wacky Cake:
1 1/2 Cups cake flour
3/4 Cup of sugar
4 Tablespoons of cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon of white vinegar
1 Cup of water
5 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2/3 Cup dairy free mini chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350. Mix all of the dry ingredients together and sift them to prevent the cocoa from getting clumpy. Add vinegar, water, oil and vanilla extract and stir until thoroughly combined. Add chocolate chips. Line a mini muffin tin with cupcake liners. Bake at 350 for 14 minutes.