It’s hard to be family to a baker. Most people think it’s filled with cookies and cake to no end. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. It’s repetitious cycles of ”don’t touch that” and “it’s not for you.” I feel bad on days when the house smells like vanilla and the kids come in with visions of sugar cookies dancing in their heads only to be told it’s not for them. They may get a sample here or a mis-shaped accident there. But we both know it wasn’t for them.
The worst is on days like yesterday. Days like when my son’s birthday is the next day and I still don’t have a cake made. Tired from the two other jobs I had this week, I wish I could ask him to settle for whatever the restaurant carts out for birthdays. A scoop of ice cream? Maybe a sundae? Heck, I would drop the seven dollars on whatever dessert he wants. But I can’t ask him to do that. He had one simple request and that was a triple chocolate cake for this tenth birthday.
I shouldn’t have waited so long. My goal to finish a read through on my WIP cemented my ass to a chair for the entire weekend. I ignored laundry, house cleaning, and all the other things I try to cram in on the days off from the 8-5 job. This would’ve been prime baking time but the book needed tending after ignoring it for weeks. His chipper little voice reminded me several times that he couldn’t wait for the chocolatey goodness.
I promised to get to it and filled the minutes with other things. (Please note 4 hours of it was pure torture in taking his friends and him to the Family Fun Center). They raced go carts, hit balls at the cages, and soaked each other on the bumper boats. This didn’t leave much time for whipping up chocolate mousse, melting chocolate for ganache frosting or crumb coating.
So there I was at 9:30 at night with the middle layers completed on his birthday cake. I rushed home after a long day at the 8-5 to rush on the frosting before heading out the door for his birthday dinner. I warned him it wasn’t going to be my prettiest cake. He responded with “It just has to taste good. And I know if you’re making it, it will.”
All this was worth it when we lit ten candles and he had a chance to make a wish. He only ate half a piece. The three-quarters cake left will most likely go to my work so we don’t over sugar it throughout the week. Now, even though I’m desperately tired, the house is a disaster and I have three other cakes to make this week, there was nothing sweeter than hearing my ten-year-old son say “Mom, this is exactly what I wanted.”
Happy Birthday to my T-Bear.