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Bless Two

On November 2, 2005, I wrote the following in a post called Blow out the candle. Joel, our fifth child, had just turned two. By the time my older kids were two, they each had a younger sibling. Joel did not because of two devastating pregnancy losses. I was clinically infertile. Yes, even a mom of five (at the time) can receive that diagnosis. I wrote about painful reminders. Mostly, I made enormous assumptions:

What makes this time doubly hard, beyond the wistful and bittersweet isn’t he growing up so fast? is that there was supposed to be another two year old. We waved goodbye. Another baby came. We waved goodbye, again. I washed that candle out of habit, out of assumptions, out of nostaglia. The reminders of loss are found in wax and plastic gallon jugs, in the boring and harmless. The hurt heart easily assigns meaning and significance to the mundane.

Pouring milk becomes a ritual, a send-off. I try to stuff the jug into the nearly full kitchen trashcan and note whole milk has a red cap. I think about throwing the candle away, too.

But I can’t.

Since that post, we’ve celebrated three more two-year-olds. Three. More. When each of those little ones turned two, I remembered how brokenhearted I was when I washed Joel’s birthday candle for what I thought was the last time. I’m also struck by the hope I held in my heart. I couldn’t throw it away because it was more than a cake topper.

Can you feel foolish and grateful at the same time? I did and I do because on August 23rd, Teddy turned two. We celebrated with a small party on Saturday with family. The two candle is long gone, by the way. It was a relic of a different era ~ my own Before and After.

Beatrix helped decorate. She made a sign, which she taped outside our front door to greet our guests. There is no doubt they were in the right place:

A perfectly valid spelling, I contend

Everyone likes to know about the cake. We went with a cars theme (not the movie) because Teddy loses his mind over all things transportation. He doesn’t know how lucky he is to have inherited the cars, trucks, planes, and trains of 5 big brothers who no longer care about things that go vrrooommmm. Archie is only three, but not into cars at all, so JACKPOT for Teddy.

I made a Snickerdoodle Cake with Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting. It’s a tried and true recipe I found at Scribbit’s blog years ago. Because we were having guests, I also made cupcakes.

For the topper, I bought 5 new Hot Wheels cars with cool clear colored exteriors. I thought the jewel tones would look snappy parked on top of his cake. Plus, he’d get to keep them! Of course, I gave the cars a bath before topping the cake:

Talkin' bout the car wash, yeah

Once they were clean, I parked them in a star formation, lightly squishing them into the frosting. Thankfully, none were four-wheel drive and could get out of the sugary mire:


Oh, Mini Cooper in kelly green, you are so cute:


Teddy was pleased:


I wanted his day to be colorful, just like him. That smile is his default setting. There could not be a sunnier two-year-old anywhere, I’m convinced.

So bring your good times, and your laughter too...

He is beloved by our whole family.

Sweet siblings ~ My oldest and my youngest

Before I cut the cake, I took off the cars and candles and laughed. A lot. It looked like a happy little starfish, which was a sweet vision I didn’t anticipate.


Kind of like Teddy.

Happy Birthday to our littlest man, our charming whirling wonder.


Birth story junkies can read about his particularly crazy entrance here.

6 comments to Bless Two

  • What a lovely little Partea! So precious, there’s just something about the smile of an innocent two year old. Their laughter, they’re hugs. It’s just so darn sweet. And yes, I will have a slice of that cake now….

  • Oh the sweetness of a sunny little person. gotta love these little ones that keep everyone on their toes in the nicest possible way!!! Happy brilliant birthday little guy!!!

  • Happy Birthday Teddy!

    I think our two year olds would get along fabulously. Until they starting fighting over the cars. 🙂 Although mine seems to be more into the construction equipment right now, although a car would certainly do if there was a lack of big yellow bulldozers.

  • I just love him. He exudes joy. And I love your words, as always.

  • Just another beautiful reminder that no matter how much we think we know, God always has plans for us!

    Happy 2nd birthday to sweet Teddy!

  • edj

    Awww…happy birthday Teddy! I love his smile. And yes, I often feel foolish and grateful at the same time.

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