Yesterday my girl Lilly turned 18.
I planned on baking her cake. Carrot. No nuts. Lots of frosting.
I also planned on spending time in quiet reflection. I imagined myself walking pensively through the woods, finger on chin, recalling the last 18 years while harps filled the sun drenched air. Then I would come home to thoughtfully wrap sweet presents for her (one of her “love languages” is gifts so in an effort to speak her language…) while the scent of baking carrot cake wafted through the tidy, quiet house. Finally, I would prepare for the small surprise party with her girlfriends, smiling beatifically all the time.
You know how this went down, don’t you?
Not the way I imagined, suffice to say.
Baking? I can’t even find the word in the dictionary. My “love language” doesn’t speak thoughtful gift. Surprise party? Lilly knew weeks ago but only because I asked for her friend’s phone numbers. Sure I had no appointments but managed to work until noon, giving me no time for that walk in the woods or any quiet reflection. Harps were also absent.
But here’s the very cool thing and where Cake Boss comes in – none of it mattered. I got to see my desire for Cake Boss perfection, notice it, notice what really happened, and laugh at myself the whole time.
I’ve only watched Cake Boss (a reality TV show about making fancy cakes) a few times with Lilly (you take together time when you can get it). What I noticed when I watched the show was the story in my head, running along the lines of “I could never do that.” I
have had this ancient shame story that I’m a craft impaired impatient ditz.
But when, at 4 pm, my carrot cake was a truly homely lopsided mess, I laughed.
When I ran into town to buy a fancy bakery carrot cake, I giggled. Here is my pattern – go for someone’s else perfect solution. I watched myself buy the cake without getting down on myself or ashamed my cake was a mess. This is huge!
When Lilly admitted she knew about the party, I giggled.
When the chain on the custom-made necklace I had ordered months ago was too short for her taste, and I realized the fancy toothpaste and socks I bought her didn’t quite fit into the category of sweet thoughtful gifts, I shrugged.
And when the fancy bakery cake was too lemony and heavy, and my homely held together by enough cream cheese frosting to cause an instant heart attack tasted better, I guffawed.
Take that perfection!
Our patterns are so adorably persistent. I love my desire for beauty and order. I will continue to see my desire for perfection with humor and love.
Even when coated in too much frosting.