I don’t remember my first one.
There are pictures, but they are yellowed as photographs from the 1970’s tend to be.
In one shot I am sitting in a high chair at my grandma’s house, confused. In the very next I am covered in yellowed cake.
I vaguely remember Cookie Monster.
My aunt made it for me when I was six. Or thereabouts.
In this photograph, I am standing on a chair leaning forward onto the table–hovering over the perfect cake.
I am missing teeth, which is incredibly apparent by the giant smile on my face.
At some point I decided marble cake was my favorite, and my mom started making me a round double-layer each year.
Always with homemade chocolate frosting.
Always with the sugar candy attached to a piece of paper that needed to be wet before the candy would release.
Always with pink letters spelling out: H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y K A T I E !
On Sunday my mom will again make me a cake.
An ice cream cake.
I will do my best to eat the vanilla ice cream, fudge, and cool whip first, saving the Oreo cookie crust for last.
But first I will blow out my 33 candles.