This little guy turned two last week. We had a zoom party with little squares filled with our family’s faces. We sang happy birthday in person and through the screen, clapped and tried to get him to blow out his candle, then realized he had no idea how to blow out a candle. We had a chocolate cake with vanilla cream that he started out eating with a spoon and ended up eating with his hands – because really, it’s the most efficient way! We somehow forgot to get him presents (oops), but the kids wrote cards that said things like “I hope you grow up to be a good man!” and, “You’re faster than a car!” We bought metallic balloons that ended up being more of a nuisance because baby hated the helium and wanted to hold them in his hands. At one point he got tangled in the strings – parenting fails never end. We had a chicken aloo ka salan (our “urdish” name for this meat and potato dish) with pilau rice because I wanted my mom to taste it and tell me if was any good. We ended the night with our feet up, somehow very, very tired, nursing large mugs of peppermint tea and second slabs of cake now that baby was finally asleep, a sugar coma from too much buttercream. In the quiet glow I thought, that birthdays are just as much for the ones who raise these babies, who do all the physical and emotional labour that no one really sees. The toddler doesn’t even know it’s his birthday. And yet, we plan the outfits, buy or bake the cakes, send the zoom links, carry the balloons four blocks, put up crinkly streamers, remind the siblings to make cards, and make sure we get at least one picture with everyone smiling. This year for some reason it really hit me, that the party and sprinkles are celebrating not just the clueless, chubby, slightly tyrannical two year old who is literally our light, but really, the two years of love and care that got us all here.