My daughter just turned nine. If you are a parent you may connect with my words here. I felt compelled to write about the experience and thoughts that churned while we baked her birthday cake together. I feel grateful beyond words for this child and our time together. I know what a gift they are.
And, of course, because I am a photographer I had to grab some favorite images of her over the years. She is such a happy (and intense) kid! (:
Delicious Bits Of Life
I had forgotten how dark cocoa powder is. I press it into the softened butter with the spoon back as I hear Alison Krauss’ voice waft in. She chose the old school bluegrass station tonight. It’s been awhile since we listened to that. She loves hearing the fiddles and harmonies as much as I do.
I show her how to measure precisely because baking prefers that. Sugar granules plunk onto the counter and she licks her fingers to make them stick to the pads. The perks of baking are not lost on her.
She looks up and says, You are the best mama in the whole wide world. I laugh and mirror it back to her, You are the best girl in the whole wide world. These sentiments from her still catch me off guard. A child so expressive about her love for me. A contradiction to my own childhood.
Baking powder, baking soda, and salt next. To ensure the cake will rise, be light and fluffy. Like my heart when I hear her words of adoration for me.
The beaters make the cocoa powder fly up so that we both get a light coating on our shirts. It’s always about now that I remember we have aprons that I forget to use. But neither of us mind at all.
More talking more laughter more shifting in the colors of the batter as we add ingredients. I’m thinking how life will do the same to her. Shift colors as she choses her ingredients.
Then the realization that this is it. This moment. This chocolate batter. This cake. This child.
This is the best. The best that life has to offer. I have it. It is mine. It is here. And now. So I savor this. I smell the rich dark chocolate, hear the harmonies of the background song, listen to my daughter chattering on. Drink it in. And smile to myself. I totally win.
I see forward many birthday cakes from this one. I make my own wish and pour the batter into the pans. I want all the right ingredients for her. Not too much sugar, just a pinch of salt, the leavening. All blended. To create. A rich life lived in fullness. A well measured celebration. Frosting between the layers. Music wafting in. Someone telling her how wonderful she is.
I wish too for her to see these moments as I do. Precious time. Spent creating connection and cake. Delicious bits of life.