Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cakes for Kids

Day 181
“Mom?  Mom?”  I intentionally ignore A. because I’m measuring out cups of powdered sugar and don’t want to lose count.  I slide the straight edge of the knife across the cup to level and add it to the mixing bowl. 

“Mom?  Mom, do you hear me? Mom?”  Yes, I want to tell him, it’s hard not to. 

“And?”  There’s always an “and.”  I turn and give him my full attention.   

“Can I crack the eggs?”  He grins.  Next to quality control taste testing on my cake batter, egg cracking ranks far up the list on his favorite things to do in the kitchen. 

I stall.  Usually I don’t mind, but today is crazy.  For the last several Easters, I’ve baked cakes for charity.  The first year, my husband returned from work to find 34 bunny cakes scattered across every available counter, desk and table space on the first floor of our house. 

“Um, Ash?” He asked.   

“What can I say?  Bunnies multiply.”  

Just like the bunnies, each year, “Cakes for the Cure” continues to grow. 

Past cakes helped fund my participation in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk, a 60-mile stroll that helps fund breast cancer research and treatment.  For those unfamiliar with the event, it’s a life-changing weekend shaped by the unwavering strength of women.  If you or someone you know isn’t affected by breast cancer, I’d argue with one in eight women diagnosed in her lifetime, just wait.  For me, it’s a women’s issue, but I digress.

I’m not doing the walk this year (but will again in 2013) so the boys and I decide to change Easter baking from “Cakes for the Cure” to “Cakes for Kids” and donate to Cincinnati Children’s.  For the past several months, a writer friend’s toddler son has been battling brain cancer.  I can't imagine.  The mother of three boys, I absolutely can't imagine.  He’s receiving excellent care at Children’s.

Today we’re baking and decorating a dozen.  Tomorrow we’ll bake and decorate another dozen.

“And you’ll be very careful?” I ask.  This is rhetoric.  For me.  Asking a 5-year-old boy to be careful cracking eggs is like asking it to snow on Christmas in Southland.  It ain’t going to happen unless Santa intervenes. 

I compromise and set A. up with a glass 2-cup measuring bowl and three eggs.  “Into the bowl,” I point knowing it will be easier to pick shells from here than through cake batter. 

“I’m the best egg cracker ever!” He says as he slams the delicate shell of the egg against the glass and causes the egg to splatter across the counter in a translucent gooey stream.

“Yes, yes, you are.” I agree and return to measuring sugar. 

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