Tag Archives: cupcakes

Messy love

When I was little I wanted little to do with my dad. He was wonderful and kind and knew just the way to do my hair for dance class, but I eagerly anticipated my mom’s return home. He loved me regardless. At the age of thirty, I finally figured out that I could love my dad through projects and road trips. It wasn’t the same kind of snuggly, chatty love I shared with my mom, but equally as profound.
My mind jumped to the thirty year wait ahead before Freya and I would have the relationship I longed for. I tried to model the same beautiful routines and relationship her birth mom Laura had developed, but I always felt as if I were falling short; time with me was the consolation prize.

There were no “how to books”. Tears dripped down my face as I prayed lonely prayers. My saving grace were the afternoons when I was the only parent home, slowly connecting, building trust, charting our own path.

Parenting is humbling, all of it. I set out with visions of idealic strolls through the park, sweet cuddles and cherub like grins. Then I was thrown into the role of non-bio Mom with an infant who only wanted my wife. 

Contrary to my fears, Freya and I found our own kind of love while she was still small. It began as soon as I was able to let go of the image in my head of how our relationship “should be” by making huge baking messes in the kitchen and painting together in my studio. While her public admiration is usually reserved for my wife, our late night chats and back scratches are something that Freya and I share with a unique sweetness. Our love is different, but equally profound.

I have learned that sometimes love comes sweeping in, other times it builds to grand heights over time. Regardless of love’s pace, letting go of what a mother/child relationship “should be” in exchange for authentic connections will win every time. Sometimes, it will even result in a batch of cupcakes.

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Ingredients matter

I can’t resist tasting the batter when I bake. I know I run the risk of salmonella poisoning but there is something so exciting about get a preview of coming attractions that gets me every time. Countless spatula licks later, I have learned to determine a crowd pleaser from a flop even before it goes in the oven. Whether it is just the right amount of vanilla or freshly picked blueberries, ingredients matter; no amount of baking will turn a lame batter into something worth eating. Tonight, as the freshly baked peach muffins wafted through the air, I thought about the ways in which we choose our “life” ingredients. From jobs to relationships, exercise and spiritual practice the presence and balance of these elements can make or break us.

What is on your ingredient list?