Every year, since time began, the women in my husband’s family have prepared a 4 layer, boiled icing, chocolate drizzled, MADE FROM SCRATCH German Chocolate Cake in celebration of each person’s birth. It is tradition.
In my family of origin that means something we sometimes do, if we feel like it. In in-law”ese” it means, a task or experience which is absolutely required and essential. If you don’t do it, you are out of the family. Or will wish you could be.
Shortly before I was married my Mom-in-law sat me down to have “the talk”. No, not sex; I wish it were that simple. This was about the legendary family cake and my new responsibilities as both a wife and, someday, mother.
You have to understand. I am not what you would call “kitchen friendly.” I think it’s a complex recipe if it calls for a can of soup AND shredded cheese. As for baking – someone like me is why God created Duncan Hines cake mixes (or why God created Duncan Hines in order that some day he would create cake mixes). Why, oh why, couldn’t the family tradition be DQ ice cream cake?
I can regale you with tales over the years of my many struggles with “the cake.” There have been tears, muttered profanity, botched attempts hastily thrown in the garbage, desperate calls to my mother (what does “fold in” mean?) and some years it just hasn’t worked out. But I keep trying. I even sift the flour for pete’s sake.
This year was no exception. A clue as to how it went… here is my husband’s facebook post:
The more my wife curses the cake she’s making for me, the more I appreciate her for making it. She’s very appreciated at this moment…
The cake layers were uneven and gaped. So I put a lot of icing on. The icing didn’t work quite right – perhaps cooled too long (since last year it wasn’t not long enough). It was super sticky, so I piled extra on. It slid down the cake, pooled on the edge of the plate and onto the counter. So, I put more on.
Every year without fail, this project causes me stress and frustration. So I’ve been asking myself – why do I do it?
Because, he makes me laugh…every day, at least once, but usually more.
Because, when we argue he talks in outline format (A…, point 1, 2…) and it’s strangely endearing.
Because, he is crazy about his girls and enjoys being their dad so much he wants another daughter.
Because, he is brilliant (don’t tell him I said this – but he’s way smarter than me).
Because, he is sexy and makes me feel that way too.
Because, he is the first person I want to tell when something good happens.
Because, his is the hug I need when things go bad.
Because, he really, really, really likes the cake.
Marriage is about loving that other person in the way they actually need and want – not the way that is convenient or makes sense to me. Now, I may still moan about this cake with my sister-in-law and I doubt it’ll ever be my favourite thing to do. In 364 days I will re-read this post and hopefully I will have a better attitude for that cake, because he really is worth it.
So here’s to Glen – a better man than I deserve. Happy Birthday G!