I think it's more Ingrained than Genetic. My mom did her best to make our birthday cakes amazing. She even took a Wilton's decorating class before we moved to Tanzania.
There were three of us that shared this train cake...my foster brother, Michael, some other kid I don't remember and myself. As you can see, I was quite in awe.
My 6th birthday was a joint labor of love Lego cake...my dad made the marshmallow blocks and my mom did the rest.
Out of all of the cakes my mom created, this one from my 9th birthday is probably my favorite. Hefty Smurf complete with a little heart tattoo on his arm (yes, that's Melanie D, Kathryn R. and Ruthanne B. in the picture for those of you who are looking and thinking you recognize them).
So then along come my own children. And I want them to have those same feelings of most definitely being Someone Special on their birthday. Besides, it's a lot of fun being able to create and see my ideas come to fruition. It's certainly not something I would ever do for someone else and get paid for it. I once painted a watercolor on commission and it was one of the most stressful experiences of my creative life. I am making a cake for a friend's 4-year-old in a couple of weeks but I'm doing it because she's my friend and I offered. The only guide lines I have from the Birthday Boy is chocolate and cars. I've got one or two ideas brewing.
For those interested...here's a back and front picture of the Monkey Cake. The pink, the arms, legs and tail are marshmallow fondant--so unbelievably easy to make and work with! The rest is chocolate buttercream. Hershey's cocoa powder comes in the perfect shade of Monkey Fur brown! I used Wilton's Cuddly Bear stand up cake pan, trimmed off non-monkey parts and repositioned the ears. When I brought Kyleigh down the stairs after her nap she saw the cake and started making monkey noises. She very much approved! Pound cake for the monkey and chocolate fudge cake for the rest--yummy.