It was the beginning of December 2011 when we met Seth Burke. He came to our house as the love of our 2nd born daughter, Rauchelle, as she returned home after hiking the northern part of the Appalacian Trail and running into her own ‘trail magic’ in the form of Seth, a caretaker on the trail.
Not having dated anybody seriously before, we knew Rauchelle traveling and bringing home a fellow had to be serious business in itself, so when we met Seth we gave him a Johnson Grilling, figuring he would soon be a member of our family.
I think it was about 40 Questions that first night. We knew he had to marriageable material or she wouldn’t have brought him home to meet us.
Within the first day or so we discovered that Seth never really celebrated his birthday. It was something overlooked, nothing that seemed ‘important’ to him. But to be a part of our family….well, we celebrate birthdays, and on a good year we’ll celebrate it for almost a week like a good Jewish festival!
So although it was December (and his birthday is actually in October) we decided to celebrate all the birthdays of his that we (including him) had missed in the past. It seemed like a good enough excuse to make desserts.
In 2007 when we suddenly emptied our house to hit the road for Nova Scotia we decluttered LOTS!!! We went from a 3,600 sq ft house with 9 kids and a garage full of carpentry tools, to a mini-van and a station wagon full of all the belongings we decided to keep.
When we arrived in Nova Scotia we were approaching our Wintery-Birthday Season (Nov 26-Mar 11 nine of us have our birthdays and Ev/I celebrate our anniversary) but Layne wasn’t with us (hers is the Nov birthday) so we didn’t pay much attention to celebrations until Christmas time.
The kids started asking me if I had brought our Winnie-the-Pooh candle that we traditionally used on our birthday cakes, the wick in the pot of honey. I sadly announced that I hadn’t brought it since the wick wasn’t burning well any more so I thought we wouldn’t bother. It had gone out in the trash.
Or so it seemed at the time.
Christmas Eve, the wind is blustery like in the Hundred Acre Woods, but the kids insist I have to magically come up with a new traditional candle for our birthday cakes….the start of them was in just 2 more days.
I succumb to pressure. I get in the car knowing stores close early on Christmas Eve, and in the nearest town of St Peter’s with a population of about 2,500 I wouldn’t have much to choose from especially since everybody had already cleared out the stores with Christmas shopping. But dutiful mother that I am I snuck away from the angry crowd, hoping to redeem myself.
There was a little all-purpose kind of store. A bit of stationery, a bit of clothes, a sampling of food….and 2 shelves of gifts. And to my absolute surprise, not only was there a votive candle with angel…it was On Sale! Hallelujah.
I quickly turned it over and noticed it was named “Angel Cheeks” and made sure there wasn’t any damage or defect. Everything seemed fine so I purchased her and arrived home, delighted with my purchase.
The kids were anxious to see what I bought, so I proudly handed over the candle. I was thrilled with the votive idea where we could use this for decades to come, just swapping the votive candle out when it got too used up.
Well, it didn’t take the kids long before they were rolling in laughter.
Me, I was oblivious.
“Didn’ t you see, Mom?”
Unable to speak a sentence because of laughter, somebody managed, “Take a look!!”
So I flipped her backside over like the other kids had….and there it was, her bottom ‘cheeks’ plump and nicely exposed. Angel Cheeks!
I don’t know why but when Seth blew out the candle the first time we celebrated his birthday with him, I told him that it was our family tradition that he had to kiss the angel’s butt.
Astonished but willing, he leaned in and…
Kissed the Angel’s Butt
…and thus, with our newest family member unaware, began our family tradition.
Our angel travels with us now. With wrinkled wings she covers the miles and graces our birthday desserts throughout the year.