GUEST POST BY LACI CHAPMAN
The night before my eldest son’s 4th birthday, I found myself making rainbow cupcakes with the “help” of an almost-4-year-old, a 22-month-old, and a 5-month-old. I so badly wanted to bail. I prayed a silent prayer that my 4 year old would forget.
I had promised we could make them before I knew my husband would be away. I do everything in my power to keep my promises to my kids…
So there I was, a frazzled mess, making good on that promise to my son. Trying to be calm and patient. Trying not to flip my shit. Every sentence starting with “don’t”, “stop”, “no”. Don’t stir so hard, you’re slopping it out of the bowl. Stop waving the whisk around. No more licking the raw batter. Don’t put the batter spoon in your pocket/hair/ear/down the front of your pants. We had rainbow cupcake batter splatter painted and smeared everywhere. EVERYWHERE.
As much as I wanted to enjoy making birthday cupcakes with my son, I was miserable. The baby was screaming, the toddler was on a rampant path of destruction, and I wished I had said “no” since daddy was gone. Buttttt, we stuck it out and got the cupcakes in the oven and the two littles in bed.
Finally, we got the cupcakes cooled and frosted. I was disappointed because I thought they looked pretty rough. We overfilled the cups a bit so they had some pretty severe “muffin top” goin’ on that was burnt on the edges in places. Apparently my oven isn’t level because not only did they have it, it was lopsided muffin top. We didn’t have paper liners and the cake was so soft and moist that they were really difficult to remove from the pan. We destroyed a couple before we figured out how to get them out mostly intact. (Don’t worry, we ate the mangled little cakes; wouldn’t have wanted them to die in vain.)
I finished frosting and sprinkling the last one and said to my son, “They’re done. What do you think?”.
Him: thinking intently for a moment, staring at them… “Mom,” he says, in a super serious tone.
Me in my head: Here it comes. He hates them. They’re frumpcakes, all weird shaped, they’re crap, I’ve killed his rainbow birthday cupcake dreams…. “Yes?”, I say out loud, trying to disguise my inner turmoil with fake cheeriness.
Him: “They… are… BEAUTIFUL!!!”, he whispers, “and WE made them!”.
I stood there, kinda stunned for a moment and then it hit me. All evening all I could see was the bad. My exhaustion, the mess, imperfect cakes. But, despite my negativity, all he could see was fluffy little cups of bright multi colored awesome topped with chocolate goodness and sprinkles. SPRINKLES! That WE made together. All he could see was the good.
So I genuinely, deeply, sincerely thank you, son of mine, for seeing the splendor in the frumpy little cakes we made. Thank you for reminding me that there is almost always good to be seen in every situation if you’re looking for it. Thank you for inspiring me to try to see the good, the half full instead of half empty, the rainbow instead of the gloomy clouds. Thank you for punching me in the perspective.
Laci is a mother to 2 feral boys and a sweet baby girl, an avid outdoorswoman, terrible housekeeper, and a master of fitted sheet folding. She’s an adventurous spirit and a giver by nature and enjoys sharing her experiences to help support other mothers and women in their journey of life.