Monday, April 7, 2008

change is good, cupcakes are delicious

this is jimmy george making his 34th birthday wish. I wonder what he is wishing for? wishes are good, they keep us hoping. birthday wishes are even better than regular old wishes because it generally means we are about to blow out a candle that is stuck into something sweet to eat.

as a child, I wished for things to be different. I wished for all the women of my family to trade places with all the men, even if just once. the women would kick up their feet and talk about their daily trials, while the men would mix and kneed and sift and stir. the men would wear aprons over their plaid shirts. they would have a fine layer of flour clinging to their beards while their callused hands worked awkwardly with the dough. under the flickering fluorescent of the kitchen light, their conversations would no longer be about trucks and tractors and engines and corn or why ford was better than chevy or how much rain they were expecting. in the midst of all the baking, they would start to gossip about people--who's pregnant, who's sick, who needs their pants patched. they would discuss why crisco was better than butter or how many green beans they were planning to can. they would share stories of mistakes made in the kitchen, laughing together, sometimes to the point of tears. all the while, the women would be sitting on the couch and in recliners, hands laced behind their heads, elbows splayed out in the universal sign for relaxation.

that wish never came true. though once my father did try to make a sandwich.

growing up, I held my silent, and sometimes not-so-silent protests in whatever ways I could. I failed to learn how to cook or sew. I did not get married at 19 and pregnant at 20. I educated myself. I held strong to my desires despite the displeasure on my grandmother's face. I came out of that past victorious...

but sometimes, we outgrow our revolutions. our points are made and we are ready to return to the place we so passionately fled.

which brings us to this past weekend where I found myself in the kitchen, baking 54 cupcakes from scratch-- carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and dutch chocolate with peanut butter frosting. needless to say, this endeavor was met with many phone calls to my mom--asking her questions I had refused to when I was younger. both my mother and father found it entirely amusing that I was in need of a mixer. hell, I was amused myself. but mostly, I was happy to be able to put jg's birthday wishing candle into something I made for him with a whole lot of love (and butter). it's never too late to learn something new. change is good. and the cupcakes, delicious!

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