Today you are three years old.

In the house in which I was raised, every year, on your birthday, you chose the cake you'd like to have. Just about, if not every, year I chose Angel Food cake. Because it's the furthest thing from cake there is; I find cake disgusting.

The year you turned one, I was paranoid and careful and made you a coconut cake that was full of a dozen eggs (not kidding) and grain and dairy free. (You were still sensitive to cow dairy back then.)

The next year - year two - all bets were off, and you were born just before Easter, so the Cadbury mini-eggs are on the shelves by this time of year.

Cadbury mini eggs are handsdown my favorite candy of all time.

At some point before you turned two I was flipping through a cookbook when I saw a flourless chocolate cake decorated with those mini eggs. I bought that book, for that recipe and that recipe alone, and decided I'd make the cake for your birthday. And, wistfully, thought how lovely it would be if this was the first of many chocolate cakes with mini eggs I'd bake for you over the next million years, or however ridicously long it is that your generation will manage to live.

So when I asked you this year what kind of cake you would like, you said Strawberry. And I was like, OK, but Whaaa? What the hell is a Strawberry cake? No, seriously, I'm asking. I think you pulled this one out of your ass. Last year you would have said a Blue cake if I'd asked, and in a year you've moved from colors to actual flavors, but still. WHAT. THE HELL. IS A STRAWBERRY CAKE.

But I am your mother and this is what parenting is: Figuring out not only what that means, but what it means to you.

Because, yes, lets think for a moment. There is strawberry shortcake. And cornmeal cakes with strawberries baked in. Both legitimately strawberry cakes. But I knew this is not what you meant.

I was guessing you wanted white cake with lots of frosting and some very identifiable strawberries in there somewhere.

So I hit up Pinterest and the Internet and found what I thought was what you were looking for: a delicate white cake, scented lightly with Meyer lemon, filled with strawberries and buttercream, and then all four layers covered in more buttercream, also with a hint of Meyer, tinged the lightest of pinks.

And while I was disappointed you wouldn't be having another chocolate and mini egg cake, I was down for the challenge. And perhaps this was your cake, the cake you'd request every year. It'd be one we figured out together and that would be great, and I'd happily bake you this cake once a year for the rest of your life.

Then the other day, on our way to Target, out of nowhere, you said you'd like the egg cake. (Not the dozen egg cake, no. The egg cake.)

I just about died.

Not only did you remember your cake from a year ago, but you liked it and wanted it again.

It might seem silly to care about which cake I bake and whether or not you approve, but it means a lot to me as your mother. I try so, so hard to be the right mother for you, and yes, we have our differences, but it's nice to get something right. And if next year you want a different cake, that will be fine, but somehow I don't think you will, because I think I nailed this one.

Happy Third Birthday.