The Birthday Smash

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It was October 27, 2002 and my family’s house was full of life. Balloons taped up on the walls, streamers swirling around the happy birthday banner, and the scent of my dad’s favorite, arrachera a full of flavor meat. Some guests were dancing, others eating the delicious arachera with rice and tortillas, and my dad thanking everyone for an incredible birthday. My mom started preparing the cake, lighting all the candles one by one. The day before, I accompanied my mom to the bakery, she told me I had to pick the best cake for my dad. I decided on a huge, well to me it was, tres leches cake. It is velvety, sweet goodness that is absolutely irresistible. I peeped my head over the counter and told the baker to write, in frosting, Feliz Cumpleanos Pa. The cake had to be perfect, for this exact moment.
My mom and I took a few strides towards the birthday boy and the room lit up with smiling faces. We counted to 3 and began to sing happy birthday to him. My dad made his wish and blew out the candles with joy in his eyes. The smile on my dad’s face was like no other, indescribable, but completely lovable. After taking all the candles out everyone chanted, “Que lo muerda! Que lo muerda!” (Bite it! Bite it!). I was full of confusion, why would they want him to bite the cake? My dad moved his head closer and closer to the cake; my uncles and brother were raising their hands to his head. My dad finally took a bite and everyone behind him smashed his head into the cake. I ran under the table to cry, why would they do such a thing, my dad did not do anything wrong? The room burst into laughter, but my dad noticed me crying. He put me on his lap and said, “It’s okay, and I am fine.” He took some frosting from his cheek and put it on the tip of my nose to get me smiling. Although I still had no clue whatsoever why my dad was shoved into the cake, everyone let me know they were not hurting my dad. My uncle handed me a bag of candy to distract me from the whole situation. Murguia birthday parties have always and will always contain our tradition of “La mordida” (The bite).





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