early childhood

It’s Not About The Cake

“Goodbye, see you in two weeks,” Sharon called out.
As I watched her drive away, I stood there wishing I could go with her.

But, it was 6pm on a Sunday night.
Time for me to go home.
6th grade awaited in the morning.

I walked to the front door of my house.
My bag in one hand.
A piece of foil in the other.
I was so proud of what was in the foil.
I wanted to show Her.
Make Her proud of me.
I packed this foil and brought it home specifically for Her.

I walked in the front door and saw Her.
I dropped my bag and hurried over to Her.
I presented Her with my gift.

“What is this?”
“I made this for you,” I said eagerly.
I watched her unfold the foil package.
I was so excited.

“Cake?”
“Yes, I made it.”
“You made it?”
“Yeah, it’s pistachio cake! Sharon showed me how to make it. We had so much fun today baking and listening to music.”

She took a bite of the cake.
I watched Her, in suspense.
Waiting for Her praises.
Hoping the cake would bring Her as much joy as it did me.

“Do you like this cake?” she asked.
I responded, “Yeah, it’s so good!”
“No. No, it’s not. This cake is disgusting.”

She handed the foil back to me.
I held it in my hands.
I stared at it.
Crushed that she didn’t like it.
I wanted Her to like it so badly.
I wanted to make Her happy.

“She’s right,” I thought. “This cake isn’t good.”
I walked over and dropped it in the trash.
Feeling embarrassed that I once liked it.
And feeling sad that my happy day had quickly come to an end.
———————–

Looking back, I realize that it wasn’t me or the cake.
It was that I had fun with her ex-husband’s new girlfriend.

Sharon’s pistachio cake is my favorite cake to this day.
The cake may very well be crap.
It’s green and it’s a “pistachio cake” that has almonds in it instead of pistachios.
But, the day she taught me to make it, is one of my happiest days.

It’s not about the cake.
It’s what that cake represents.
Kindness.

A beautiful memory of a moment with someone who cared.

I make this cake every year on St. Patrick’s Day.
And each time it takes me back to that happy moment when I was ten years old.
Laughing, talking and shimmying in Sharon’s lemon-colored kitchen.
And, I don’t know where you are anymore, but if you ever read this…
Thank you.

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