Waking Neighbours & Eating Cake Pops

It’s the 6th of December and just after 5am. The house is silent and outside, it’s still dark. I’ve only just woken up when my family barrels into my bedroom. They’re already singing Happy Birthday when I lay eyes on them.

Mom’s leading the pack, waving her hands to direct the traffic of bodies into my room – like some sort of conductor. My brothers are close behind, followed by my father who is flanked by our dogs and the one cat that cares enough to join in.

Crumb (9) (not his real name) and Nugget (5) (not his real name) lead the singing. Their voices carry through our otherwise quiet house, bounce off the walls and alert all of our neighbours that it’s my nineteenth birthday. While Nugget helps me open presents, we have a hearty cake pop breakfast (the delicious pops feature two of my all-time favourite things: cats and Christmas).

Storm holding cake pops against white wall. One pop is shaped like a cat, the other is a christmas themed bauble.
In general, I like keeping my birthday on the down-low. 

But that doesn’t go according to plan this year (at all). At work, it seems as though I have a ‘IT’S MY BIRTHDAY’ sign stapled to my back (I promise, I don’t). My boss gifts me Josephine the Orchid (its actual name) and my colleagues shower me with enough chocolates to swim in. I spend the day coming up with different ways to phrase, “thank you so much!” and, “yes, I’m only nineteen” and, “I hope you have a great day too”.

When I return home I find several of my friends waiting to surprise me. They’re armed with enough cupcakes and cake to feed all the neighbours that were woken by enthusiastic singing earlier. We sit for hours, laughing, eating pizza and avoiding the realisation that we’re growing up, getting older and on our way to becoming Sort of Independent Adults.

Being around all these people, and receiving their messages, reminds me how incredibly lucky I am to have them. (And reminds me that birthdays at our house are never a small affair.)

Despite not wanting to make a big deal out of my birthday, there’s something so wonderful about starting it out like this – with family and well wishes (and cake). It’s this celebratory spirit that carries me through the day.

It got me wondering what your family’s birthday celebrations are and if you have any. Do you get woken up, have cake for breakfast and a song and dance like me or something else entirely? I’d love to know.


  1. Storm,
    Dankie vir die oulike “post”!!
    Jy gee ons sulke wonderlike idees om sommer net ons gedagtes veeeeeeer terug te neem.
    As kinders is ek en my susters en broer kosskool toe.
    Ons het op ‘n plaas groot geword, wat nie naby die dorp was nie.
    Daardie jare was dit nie maklik vir ons ouers om sommer net gou dorp toe te kom vir “n vejaarsdag nie.
    Geen partytjies of koek nie , ook nie telefoonoproep nie. ( daar was nog nie ‘n telefoon op die plaas nie)
    Ons het geweet hulle dink aan ons en is baie lief vir ons.
    Ons het egter wonderlike, ongelooflike kinderjare ervaar.
    Die dag toe ek 21 geraak het en op Stellenbosch gestudeer het, het my ouers spesiaal
    gekom vanaf Prins Albert met heerlike koek en eetgoed en ons kon saam
    by restuarant gaan eet !!!!!
    My kinders is op hulle verjaarsdae wakker gesing met ‘n geskenkie .
    Hulle het verjaarsdag partytjies gehad met die onmoontlikste opdragte hoe die koek moes lyk !!
    Ek sien jy het jou verjaarsdag baie geniet en dat jy omring is met ‘n wonderlike , dierbare gesin en vriendinne.
    Jy is baie spesiaal.
    Lots of love

  2. Thsnk you for sharing your words with the world. I love your writing so much

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