Food & Drink Magazine

A Wedding Cake

By Monetm1218 @monetmoutrie
PictureThe wedding cake for my grandparent's 60th anniversary. My co-baker, Halley, stands behind our creation. On Saturday night, I walked through my Aunt's house with a glass of wine in one hand, a bowl of shrimp gumbo in my left. I saw faces I hadn't seen in years--cousins, friends, acquaintances--and despite the time apart, we joined together to celebrate my grandparent's 60th wedding anniversary. Yes, 60 years.
Ryan played a few songs after we cut the cake, and I made a toast to an example of fidelity and love. The food was good, the conversation better, but my favorite part of the evening was the footage of my grandparent's marriage that played, unassuming, in the living room.
I watched my grandfather and grandmother dance in the living room, their friends laughing and joining in on the jitter-bug. I saw my mom, with thick cat-eye glasses, pick up baby kittens and peek out behind closet doors. My grandfather donned his infamous "Nobody the clown" suit and regaled a crowd of spectators at the opening of a new gas station in 1960s Texas. And then, I came into the picture. A tiny baby girl born in 1986.
In one scene, I stood in the kitchen with my grandmother. My three-year-old self presiding over biscuit dough, shaking my head as I carefully cut out those soon-to-be flaky rounds. I talked, with animation, as I worked, asking my grandmother for help, pointing at a particularly fetching biscuit. Her soft voice can be heard in the background, gently leading me in the right way.
There were images of me walking hand-in-hand with my grandfather. There were scenes where I clung to my older sisters. Scenes where I got to see Pam, living and vibrant, once again.
I cried a few times, but  mostly I laughed. I laughed at my playfulness, my candor, and my early proclivity towards all things baking. I loved my child-self in those moments, and I wondered what it would take to look at my own life now with as much affection.
We can be so cruel to ourselves as adults. Setting high and unbending expectations. Chastising at the smallest mistake. Even now, I pour over a draft of a short story I'm submitting to workshop on Tuesday and think, "God, how can I be this bad?"
But then I remember my sweet grandmother standing behind me in the kitchen. The love in her voice chases away any of my fear of failure, and instead elicits joy in the process of learning, making mistakes and trying again. I think of how I can offer the same love and encouragement to the adult-me, who works just as hard at her fiction, her blog, her family, her passions.
Anecdotes and Apples Cores

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