I like cupcakes, plain ones, fancy ones, gooey ones – I just like cupcakes.
I never knew that baking and decorating cupcakes could make my heart swell just like the Grinch’s at the end of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
Last week was LaLa’s half birthday. She is a July baby so she never gets to celebrate her “real” birthday with her school friends thus treats on her half birthday. She requested chocolate candy cane cupcakes with pink frosting. Easy peasy! I took the kiddos to school, tied on one of my vintage aprons and started mixing. I filled the liners partially with rich chocolate batter, added some crushed up candy canes, covered that with more batter and popped them in the oven. While they were baking I whipped up some pink frosting and then decided to dip some mini candy canes in milk chocolate to put on the top of each cupcake. I was creating something special for my daughter and using my candy and cake decorating skills – what could be better? Then it hit me – O is in fourth grade and I only get to make birthday cupcakes one more time for her before she goes to middle school! When did my sweet little girl get so big?
I try not to get too emotionally sloppy about these things but, geez, I have a mommy-heart! I was feeling more than a bit sad but didn’t want to make a big deal out of it with O, tweens can be so touchy! So imagine my delight when she came running to the car that afternoon with a huge smile and told me how awesome the cupcakes were. I only teared up slightly but was able to cover it with a pretend sneeze.
Now comes the heart-swelling part!
LaLa came home after school yesterday and asked me to make MORE cupcakes for her class! They had earned a special movie day and she wanted to share treats again. Yippie for me! This morning I once again dropped the kiddos at school and started to bake. This time, as I mixed the batter I thought about O. How her smile lights up a room, how her eyes sparkle when she is happy, how she jumps just a little when she is excited because her body just can’t contain all the joy she is feeling. As I filled the liners with the yellow batter and added caramel and chocolate I remembered watching her sleep, not just when she was a baby but last night too. I remembered her delight in scrubbing a floor like Cinderella and the graceful way she chased butterflies. Whipping the sweet butter flavored frosting made me think of the wonderful stories that she imagines and shares, the elaborate plans she makes when she is enthralled with something and her strength and determination to do things her way. When I garnished the tops with a few pieces of popcorn I knew that these cupcakes had more thoughts and memories in them than any other cupcake in the world. Although they disappeared within minutes of delivery to the class and received rave reviews I will remember them as much more than a sweet treat.
Simple, maybe, but it sure made my mommy-heart happy! Now, I wonder if they will ask for more cupcakes soon…