We took 7-Year Old Daughter to a birthday party in Washington, D.C. It was held at a fancy bakery. The pastry chef gave a demonstration to all the girls on how to decorate a cake. They were instructed on what type of flourish each frosting tip would render. Ribbons. Roses. Flower petals. Swirls. Then, they were each given their own cake to decorate.
Art is not The Daughter’s strong suit, despite the exposure she’s had to some world-class museums. She enjoys taking it all in but, frankly, isn’t very good at producing it. Her cake was a bit of a catastrophe. She made some unfortunate shapes and blobs of frosting. The colors didn’t match and there was no order to it.
A few of the other girls, however, made splendid cakes. Especially 8-Year Old Niece, who has an uncanny talent for art that borders on macabre. Daughter took one look at the other beautiful productions, looked down at her own, and the look on her face broke my heart 10,000 times. She said, “My cake looks stupid.”
Do you remember the first time your own mediocrity was revealed to you? What could I do? I knew what she meant. I’ve had that feeling many times. I told her that her cake was beautiful but it rang hollow. Then, I said the only thing I could think of: “I love you very much.”
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These pics are from a few weeks ago when Sister #2 was visiting. Contrary to popular stereotype, New Jersey isn’t ALL chemical plants. We took her to the beach but also for a walk in the forest. She took these of the two Daughters and I strolling a well-worn path through a thick woods. I like the first pic but the second one is a classic because of 3-Year Old Daughter’s over-the-shoulder glance back.