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I slept in for once the morning of my birthday since it was on a weekend and I didn’t have to go to school. I always get up at the crack of dawn to start breakfast but since there were plenty of leftovers from Patrick’s wedding in the fridge I knew having something to eat wouldn’t be an issue. I deserved it since I had such a long day of cooking the day before and my feet and back were killing me.

When the alarm went off at 5 am I rolled over to turn it off and then pulled the covers up to my head falling back to sleep. I finally woke up again feeling well rested but when I checked the time it was just after midday! I couldn’t believe I slept for so long. My party was in less than 3 hours and I still had so much stuff to organise. I rushed downstairs to begin the preparations and was shocked to find my mother in the kitchen holding a decorated white cake in her palm.

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My mother rarely cooks and when she does it’s always something simple like scrambled eggs or grilled cheese sandwiches. Sometimes she might microwave a bowl of instant oatmeal or a frozen dinner which to me doesn’t count as cooking because I don’t consider microwaved meals as food. It’s just not!

Still, I was so surprised that she actually baked a cake for me especially one that looked about as good as the ones I make. I knew it took a lot of effort on her part so I was very grateful.

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My brother and sister also helped out while I was sleeping. Kaleb cleaned up the kitchen and washed all the dishes that were used last night that I meant to do this morning. Lyra scrubbed the toilets and took out the garbage. Lyra scrubbing toilets! I only wish I was up at that time so I could see it for myself.

It didn’t take long to get the decorations organized and soon the guests arrived. Patrick and Ashley were leaving for their honeymoon in Champs Les Sims the following day so they were able to join us along with the other members of my extended family and my friends Tatiana and Darren.

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Penny also came. Her flight ran a little late as she was supposed to arrive early that morning but she managed to make it just in time for the party to start. She looked even prettier all dressed up.

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Mom seemed to like her a lot. Penny was the first girlfriend Kaleb ever brought home. I think Penny was most likely Kaleb’s only girlfriend ever. My brother is not the social type. He rarely goes out, he doesn’t like being in large crowds and he’s a total wallflower during any social event. Lyra and I joke that if Penny wasn’t originally his next door neighbour then he wouldn’t have a girlfriend. He tried to play it cool like he wasn’t nervous about Mom meeting her but I could tell he was. I think she managed to receive Mom’s approval right away.

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My cousin on my Dad’s side, Justine showed up. She’s a little older than me but we aren’t really close since she lives in Willow Creek and the last time we saw each other was when we were kids and Dad took me to visit Aunt Blair. That was the reason why I invited her to come to the party since we’re the only family she has left now that Aunt Blair and her husband passed away. Nate was totally crushing on her and making it so obvious too. It was so weird! I know they’re not technically related since Nate is my cousin on my mother’s side and Justine is my cousin on my father’s side but still…they’re both my cousins!

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Everyone gathered around to sing happy birthday as I blew out the candles on my cake. I didn’t expect to feel a sudden shift once the smoke cleared. I don’t look much different than before but I feel different. More mature, perhaps? It’s hard to explain.

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I really had a lot of fun. It was my first party as a young adult so I made sure to enjoy it to the fullest. I spent the entire night dancing, forgetting all about my sore feet from the day before. My cousins and friends all joined in with me as we turned that patio into a scene from a rave.

I totally like parties now. Sure, catering them can be a lot of work but fun no less. The best part was getting to kick back and socialize and dance. I think I’m gonna have to throw more parties from now on.

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Maybe not too often.

I didn’t take the clean-up part into account. I guess my siblings had their fill of cleaning for the day so they all went to bed leaving the kitchen and dining room in a mess. I didn’t mind because I love cleaning but it was a lot and even though Mom also loves cleaning I couldn’t leave all that for her to do by herself. If it gets this messy after a regular birthday party then perhaps I can just entertain guests every now and then instead.

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I was going to be busy enough in culinary school as it is.

I started classes right away and it’s been a fun experience thus far. My instructors are great. The other students in my classes are just as passionate as I am.

Mom loved to hear the stories of all the funny things that happened in class. So many small fires have started and it only the beginning of the semester. One guy sliced open his thumb while chopping onions and had to go to the emergency room for stitches while another girl got a burn on her shin when she accidentally dropped a pot of boiling hot water on the floor. I know those stories sound serious but I guess it’s one of those things where you have to be there in order to see the humour in it.

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Mom gets it.

In exchange, she tells me stories about her early days working at the lab. Like the time when she tested out the SimRay on her co-worker and he froze into a block of ice or the time she got Dad to try out a ‘love potion’ she was working on and he started making out with her in front of everyone. I could tell those were fond memories of hers. I think she enjoys looking back on her glory days by the way her eyes light up as soon as she remembers a detail from that time.

I like hearing about it too.

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I could only wish that my life would be as interesting as the one she has lived. Somehow I don’t think it will be. I mean, how can I top space travel and communication with aliens? And all those devices she invented and the research work she had published? My mother is a major celebrity in the scientific community whereas I’ll be lucky if I get to cook in a five-star restaurant one day.

Then she assures me I’ll be fine and that I’ll make my own mark in the world in my own way just like she did.

I guess I’ll have to take her word for it.

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I just wish she could have lived to see it herself.

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in-memory-of-ivy

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