Monday, September 14, 2009
Oh, and also, in an attempt to be "all cakes for all people," I had made a tier of vanilla, a tier of chocolate, and a tier of chocolate-vanilla swirl.
I hadn't even thought of how hard it would be to keep chocolate-brown crumbs out of snow white frosting and fondant.
There was 30 minutes of time when I seriously debated scrapping it all to the garbage can and going to Costco for a cake.
I didn't, but I wanted to...
Anyway, the bottom layer of cake was all wonky (it had cracked a bit when I pulled it out of the pan), and it couldn't hold the weight of the top two tiers. It was slowly leaning more and more to the left as gravity played its hand.
There was a moment when I looked at that crazy, imperfect, sinking ship of a cake, and said to The Mister, "None of my ideas ever work out the way I want them to."
He set his eyes on me with a look I couldn't read.
I wasn't sure if he was going to laugh, or send me to my room.
Calmly he said, "That is the most ridiculous thing that has ever come out of your mouth."
I sat with my arms crossed and my mind in the pit.
He sat with me.
Our eyes both intently focused on that lopsided, fondant covered, heavily weighted, "failure" of a cake.
He said, "You know the top two layers aren't bad, don't scrap the whole thing, see what you can do with those."
And he left.
Of course, in my head I had all sorts of excuses as to why it would be impossible.
It would never work.
What does he know about cakes?
What do I know about cakes?
Why did you think you were able to do any of this?
Then the real punch in the gut. The Girl walked through the kitchen and said,
"Mom, it doesn't have to be perfect."
Yes it does. She's right, it really doesn't.
So I made my one-less-than-than-three-tier cake, thanks to the encouragement of The Mister, and words from a nine year old that brought me back to reality.
The lesson learned in the making was bigger than I anticipated.
And yet, it was still the same old lesson: The outward appearance is often not what it seems.
Why am I telling you this?
Because its important.
When eighteen people on the blog, and many others who saw the cake in-real-life, comment on how amazing it is, and how "crafty" you are, and compare you to the likes of Martha Stewart (even in jest), I want you to know the truth.
This weekend it was about cake, but often its more than cake. Its about life. From body image to child rearing, and all things in between, I struggle.
I want you to believe that my life looks as rosy as this cake... I want you to think I have all my ducks in a row. That I am "good" in all I do!
But reality doesn't often look the way I think it should look, or the way I want it to look, and sometimes I don't handle it well. Even when the outside looks all-right, the inside might be all wonky. It might be sinking under the weight of a fruitless chase for "perfection."
I often need Truth tellers in my life.
I know you need that too.
I brought that wonky third-layer to the shower, and put it in the fridge, in case we needed more cake to serve.
No one ever saw it, but I knew it was there. A sweet reminder that I might be able to hide my imperfect ways, but if I throw them out, I'll never learn to overcome the things that hinder me...
PS: I read this post last week, which came to my mind while writing this post.
PPS: To The Mister...Thank you for being a Truth teller. You have sat with me at many "tables" in our life, and helped me sort through things much bigger than cake. Things much more difficult, and much more important....and yet, you offer truth all the same. I appreciate you. xoxox