Clare and I baked our first birthday cake together this weekend. Can I just please tell you how cute the girl is? She stood next too me with her big girl eyes and her little girl body and was excited. I don't mean kind of enthusiastic, I mean excited. She helped me pour and count out the exact number of eggs that we needed. Together we checked our list twice to make sure we had all of our ingredients measured out, then she dutifully repeated each word and pointed at each item as I checked it off. When it was time, she helped me stir the batter before using the mixer(and did a really great job I might add); she got to lick the beaters while I poured the cake into the cake pan; she got the first piece of it once it was finished baking (from the bottom of the cake of course, where I could hide the hole); finally, she helped me ice and decorate it. The icing was by far the best. She ate about half of the container of icing and what she didn't manage to get in her mouth, she got on her hands, shirt, hair and feet (oh, and on me, too). It was so much fun. I laughed through most of it (along with the occasional admonishment of "don't do that"). When we were finished, I couldn't WAIT to take that cake to my mother. I had a "Look Mom!" moment at 32 years old and it felt great. Mason had captured the icing process through film and video. It's been years since I've been that excited to get to my mom's house with a gift, but those pictures and that video were worthy of the excitement.
While she was still trying to ice the cake, before the first taste
Yeah - so much for icing the cake
Totally taking the credit for the finished product
All of this made me remember the times I stood in a chair next to my mother making cookies or cakes or desserts of all kinds. It always felt so good to be so near her. She was always happiest when she was in the kitchen. I can't remember the words, but I can even recall her voice while we did these things together. I loved her so big and all I wanted was to grow up to be just exactly like her. I have to wonder if Clare will remember her times with me as well and with as much joy, and I have to hope that I can provide many more of them for her to enjoy with me (just in case it only sticks in your memory when fully developed through repetition, or maybe just because it was so much fun that I selfishly can't wait to do it again).