There are moments in my career as wife/mama/home manager/housekeeper where everything comes together, and when everything and everyone behaves as it should. It’s almost as if I get a teeny, tiny glimpse of what life might have been like without an Original Sin (except that the butter and sugar are still bad for me). It’s as if I’m the conductor of a grand symphony performing a beautiful masterpiece, directing each movement with ease. I enjoy the performances as they come, knowing they only last for a moment.
Tonight’s performance was one such night.
8:00 p.m. Tap, tap, tap. I, the conductor, tap my wand on the counter. The audience is hushed. The children are in bed. I take a deep breath and begin to move.
Tonight’s requested performance: “Baking for the next-door-neighbor.”
First Movement – Bake birthday cake for next-door-neighbor’s visiting nephew.
The oven preheats as the mixer sings a sweet song of confection. I move to the counter greasing two nine-inch round cake pans smiling and humming along to the music. Beep, beep. The oven is ready just as the mixer diminuendos. The batter flows into the pans, followed by a brief interlude of dish washing.
Second Movement – Bake batch of spritz cookies that next-door-neighbor fell in love with on Valentine’s Day.
The oven is humming a low tune; the mixer joins in duet with a higher harmony. Thunk, thunk, the thick cookie batter provides the rhythm. In perfect timing, the cake rises to its crescendo, and cookies are ready to join the chorus of the oven. The members of the symphony perform in unison flowing in and out of each movement with legato. Another brief interlude of dishwashing ensues.
Third Movement – Make buttercream icing and decorate the cake.
Swish, swish, the knife glides over the cake and frosting in grazioso. A little touch here, a little touch there, and a playful medley develops over brown and green frosting.
Finale – Delivery to the critics.
I move with grandioso across the yard and am greeted with smiling faces and rave reviews.
“When I first tasted these cookies I thought for sure they must have come from a bakery! They are so delicious and BEAUTIFUL!”
“The cake is so much better than Publix. Can I give you a kiss?”
Encore – Final Cleanup.
I smile and hum as the final few dishes are cleared and put away. 10:30 p.m. A flawless performance with rave reviews. I nod my head to the Composer. I know He was smiling and tapping His toes to the music as well. He had to have been. There’s no way I could have pulled it off without Him sitting on the front row.