I can remember sitting in my 2nd grade class. Mrs. King was my teacher and I idolized her. Any little girl aspiring to be a teacher would. A trendsetter before her time, her room mimicked Pinterest with flexible seating options available to students and crayons overflowing at each table.
As an August baby, the caliber of celebration for my birthday in school was a toss-up. Living in a military town, it often came as a surprise to my peers as my friend groups were pretty fluid since Robins Air Force Base consistently had families incoming and outgoing. In true Leo fashion, I would always try to convince my mom to bring in treats every August 19th, a mere week or so after school began. 2nd grade was no different.
An avid reader of Good Housekeeping, my mom never did (does) anything half-heartedly. Admittedly, I get my perfectionism from her, a blessing and a curse. To me, a vision of cupcakes and juice boxes meant a cake made from scratch and sculpted into a perfect sun, for her. Needless to say, when she rolled up to the school with her Pampered Chef cake container and a lawn bag full of the latest and greatest Frito Lay creations (courtesy of my dad who was an engineer for them at the time), my friend group multiplied.
As teachers, we are conditioned to believe that we are daily impacting our students in ways we can never imagine. I find it hard to believe that Mrs. King would ever think that allowing a parent to bring in a cake and chips on their child's birthday would be a reflection point in one of her student’s lives. But here we are.
While my mom was busy making her buttercream the perfect shade of gold and carving cake like ice, baking was never my forte. Though it is clear that my born-into personality traits of head-strong and passionate, paved a smooth path to the hobby. I should have known from the moment my mom brought me to her friend’s house to learn the art of decorating sugar cookies, that my journey with baking from scratch was just beginning. Like my mom, I could never do this hobby half-heartedly.
But as teachers know, excess time does not exist in your first year of teaching. That is, until your school best friend gets engaged and you and your over-achieving self thinks, “Hmmm. I can bake and decorate cookies!” And so, the small business began.
Sometimes, as I am creating a set, my mind drifts to childhood memories, just as this set did for me. Other times, I find decorating cookies allows me to reflect on dreams I have: earn a PhD, travel to Italy, work in England (sorry fam).
What started as a simple two dozen set of Wolves and Unicorns for sweet Eloise turned into a trip down memory lane for me. But Eloise’s birthday cookies are not the only set that have given me time to reflect or a unique feeling of understanding. Many others have done just the same. It is this blog where I intend on sharing those experiences. More to come. S.