It started with a note:
I feel like today is a special day. Could I make a special dinner and cake for the whole family? Yes? No? Point to one. Love, Phoebe
I’ve never seen a little girl enjoy serving her family as much as she did last night. Yes, I’ve seen her excited and happy to prepare and set a table for us, but this… this was like a surprise birthday party. She was truly giddy.
At one point, HB came in and just watched her, then looked at me with a grin and said, “She sure is cute.”
None of us really understood from where the excitement and determination for the special evening came from. We all just enjoyed her exuberance.
She included her little sister in the planning, because she saw the look of wanting in Esther’s eyes. I hope I never forget the emotion that swept over me as she turned to her sister, wrapped an arm around her in the grocery aisle, and said, “What flavor do you want? If you want sprinkles, we’ll have sprinkles.”
She giggled with her big brother as the two of them made the cakes, eyeing them and sharing moments in the mixing that I was not a part of, but loved watching. I hope I never forget the image of a thirteen year old boy laughing and plotting with his nine year old sister, saying, “We’ll be sure they know the awesomeness of this cake.”
She flitted from the table, getting more tea and water for everyone. She barely sat down, as she fully embraced the role of hostess. I hope I never forget seeing the sparkle in her eyes as she said, “I’ve eaten some, Daddy, but I need to serve everyone. I want them to have what they want.”
Oh, my stinkin’ heck.
She set the china, delivered each plate, poured tea and water out of china pots, and sliced the cake.
Then she savored in it all as we settled in for an after dinner movie that she had picked for us.
My favorite moment … actually, it was a convicting moment…in the entire experience was during the icing of the cake.
The second cake (she wanted to build a two tier one for the first time) didn’t come out of the pan very smoothly. I was bummed and told her it was likely my fault, that I didn’t let it cool long enough. As we watched it crumble, she said, “It doesn’t matter, Mom. It’s still great.” I thought she was just being kind and trying to cheer me, but when I looked at her, her eyes sparkled with a joy that had nothing to do with my feelings or the cake looking perfect, but everything to do with making an evening for the ones she loved.
Her heart was proven while we iced the cake.
The bits of cake falling in the icing, the sides barely holding up against gravity, and the sloppiness that would have made me cry, phased her not.
All she saw was a yummy cake planned and prepared especially for her family. Not a single disappointment in sight.
It was the icing on the cake for me.
When she asked me to write the word “Family” across the cake, I just about swooned.
There was a lot of symbolism there for her. And even more for me.
Messy. Colorful. Sweet.
I hope I never forget the passionate love behind that sweet comment, “It doesn’t matter, Mom”.
Have your children taught you anything lately?