The week of my recent birthday, I got a special gift. My Nashville son and daughter-in-law, Trey and Kinsey, let me bring my 3-year-old grandson, King, home for a few days with Gigi and Granddaddy.
They were to pick him up the day before my birthday to enjoy a family celebration with Kinsey’s sisters and nieces. Sometime during the week, the fact of “Gigi’s birthday” was discussed.
“It’s not my birthday, Gigi,” King explained, forlornly. “But Dada says my birthday come ‘round again!” he brightened.
I asked King what he liked best about his birthday. “Presents!”
“Do you think Gigi will get any presents?” I followed. He looked around. “No,” he said.
So much for getting any secrets out of him.
“What else is fun about birthdays?” I continued, as the ever-present Thomas the Train choo-chooed around the kitchen table.
“Cake!” he said.
“Should we do a birthday cake for Gigi?” I asked.
“Yes, yes, yes!” he yelled and began what we fondly call the “King gone crazy” dance.
Later, with three hours of Thomas the Train under my belt, I told him it was time to go to Kroger and get Gigi a birthday cake.
“No Kroger,” he said. “Target.”
Target is King’s favorite store. He recognizes the bulls-eye anywhere and can almost give directions from his house in Franklin to “King’s Target.” He spotted the one near Gigi’s house before we got off the interstate.
We have a very nice Target, but not a Super Target. The chances they would have a birthday cake were slim to none.
But, to Target we went. After quite a bit of time in the $1 section that King thinks is a toy store, he chose the exact right plastic snake and a bottle of bubbles and was ready to find a cake. Up and down every aisle in the small grocery section we went. We checked the frozen food aisles and the party supply aisle. No cakes.
“It’s okay,” I told him. “We will pay for this and go to the grocery for a cake.”
“No,” he said. “Target.”
Headed out of the last aisle, King began to point and shout: “Cake! Birthday cake!”
I looked around and saw the Hostess cupcakes. “These?” I asked him?
“No, Gigi! Birthday cake!”
I moved the buggy closer to the food, and he reached over and grabbed a package of Little Debbie snack cakes, white iced and swirled in red, decorated with blue stars for a holiday.
He held them in his arms all the way home, his faith in Target restored.
At home, I recounted the story to my husband as King crashed Thomas into the new snake on the tracks. Neville sent me to the other room, “to work,” he told King, which brought moans and whining.
While I was “working,” the two of them got the sprinkles, the candles and the cakes, decorated them on a paper plate, and then called me for the big reveal.
King sang “Happy Birthday,” and we gobbled up the Best Birthday Cake, ever.