While I was still pregnant with Caleb I already had plans in my head about when to throw him his BIG birthday celebrations — that is on his milestone years. 1st birthday, 7th birthday, 21st birthday (the 40th, 50th, 60th birthday, well Caleb can decide that on his own). While the other equally special birthdays, I planned we will celebrate with a simple merienda over homemade chocolate cake, spaghetti, fried chicken and Coke like how we used to celebrate our birthdays in the Philippines back in the days.
That was the plan, then this pandemic happened. So there wasn’t a big 1st birthday celebration no more.
All plans and preparations were thrown out the window when a ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown was announced the day before his birthday picnic after a rise in the number of cases from zero to a few.
The first time I heard the word ‘pandemic’ (before the outbreak of COVID) was in 2003 during my Community Health Nursing class, along with the words epidemic and sporadic, and the line — ‘Health in the Hands of the People by 2020’. Surely the world met WHO’s goal in 2020 as all we did the whole year was washed and sanitized our hands!
What was planned to be a BBQ picnic in the park of about 50 family and friends was narrowed down to a lockdown dinner party of 3. Imagine my disappointment.
But even so with just three, there were still a few on my to-do list to oversee.
That morning, I have managed to cook the yummiest Filipino style baked spaghetti by following my Mama’s recipe, in between playing and reading books to Caleb. The chicken was cleaned, seasoned and prepped ala Lolo Amar’s Chicken Haus style ready for roasting came the afternoon.
I also had to finish icing the cake for Caleb’s cake smash photoshoot which we planned to do when Nikky returns home from work.
Thankfully our Mickey Mouse colour themed balloon garland was done a couple of days prior and was already blue tacked to the ceiling. Thanks to our good friend Shradha who showed me how to make one on the morning when the ‘circuit breaker’ was announced.
We had the loveliest sit-down dinner. Just us three. I got a two thumbs up from the hubs for my cooking. Caleb had a few second serves of spaghetti, though I couldn’t quite tell which he enjoyed more – eating the spaghetti or playing with the spaghetti by intentionally dropping the pieces on the floor. He was happiest being with his Mama and Dada, playing with his toys and was smiling and giggling the whole time except for the part when Mama had to put on his party hat to take photos!
We had the three
most important things:
chicken, spaghetti and cake!
Caleb’s 1st birthday celebration didn’t go as I initially imagined and planned, but it turned out to be enjoyable, memorable and as always — a special one. After all, we had the three most important things (aside from each other): chicken, spaghetti and cake!