After five years of birthdays our old beeswax birthday candles had burnt down to their stubs. I bought them the year Darcy turned one and they helped us to sing in every birthday until he turned six in the campground by the beach this summer. No home baking this year - just a generic supermarket icecream cake melting into a puddle after a night in the esky (alongside a nutella crepe stack I whipped up on the campstove while the kids were at their swimming lessons and I was hiding treasure in the bush and stringing pears from the clothesline).
So when this book arrived (for my birthday - thank you Rachel!) and I had a recipe for birthday candles in my hands there was no holding me back. My previous foray into candlemaking had not gone beyond melting down the ends of old candles into a glass jar and sticking a bit of string in the middle. These required slightly more technical equipment - but not much. A roll of wicking from the craftshop; a block of beeswax from the meadery; an old tin from the shed. While the baby slept on the weekend I dipped and rolled - the soft honey scent of the beeswax drifting through the house on the summer breeze. The shapes that emerged from the pot were lumpy and organic, and not at all like the straight little numbers I intended, but I think I liked them all the more for it.
I was aiming to make 37 - for that is how old Grant turned today - but stopped at 20. And we could only squeeze eight onto the cake this evening, so I would say we are good for birthday candles for the next decade at least. Which makes my head spin a bit just thinking about how old my children will be by the time the last one burns down. My baby girl turns one in two months' time. We will just take it one birthday at a time.