Angel food cake with chocolate icing. That was my wish.
My mom worked outside the house so there weren’t any birthday crafts or playdates. We were pretty broke so there was only one fancy party, a clown in kindergarten. But every year on my birthday she managed to find time for Chicken Divan and an Angel Food cake.
I remember watching her beat those egg whites like it was magic. How the heck did that bowl full of liquid turn into that fluff? She was magic. That’s what it had to be.
She normally shooed me away because I’d stand too close and inevitably, in our tiny kitchen, get in her way. But even when she kicked me out, I knew that every bit of what she was doing was my birthday love note so I could wait because I knew that soon, I’d taste her heart in that cake.
Devil’s Food with Whipped Cream Icing. That’s what The Girl picked this year for her ninth. There are no fancy parties or crafts or playdates, but as I whipped that cream into beautiful peaks, and (in spite of my best efforts not to) shooed her out of my kitchen, I hope she felt my heart pour into that bowl.
I hope she feels the pride I feel because I’m her mother. I hope she sees that she makes me a better woman because of the young lady she has become. I hope she feels, as I did in that tiny kitchen all those years ago, that every rotation of the spoon, every swipe of a spatula, is in the name of love. I want her to taste my heart in that cake just like I felt my mom’s in mine.
Angel or Devil, the love is the same.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.