Yesterday I made cake with my step-daughter. The smell of it cooking made everyone a little nuts. We are all sugar and chocolate fiends in this house. We believe in consuming as much sugar and empty calories as possible, every day. Of course, those of us who are adults realize this isn’t much of a nutritional plan for life, so we try to behave. Those of us who are not adults just try and maximize the sugar. You could say there are occasional debates around this issue.
So, when the cake came out of the oven at 4:00 and was cooling, my thought was, “Yay! This cake is going to be delicious for desert.” You know, desert. The thing that comes after dinner. The children’s thought was, “Hey, the cake is out of the oven. Would it burn my mouth if I ate it NOW?”
Of course they were requesting the cake at 4:01. I let Dad handle the request, assuming that his thought pattern would mirror mine.
Within minutes he was cutting nice large slices from the warm cake and serving it up. I happened to be out of the room when it happened. Obviously, we don’t undermine each other when it comes to stuff like this, so I didn’t say anything. But evidently I didn’t tell my eyebrows not to say anything. Apparently, they raised themselves in an expression of disbelief. The six year old said, “What!? He gives us this big of slices!! Always!” I didn’t say anything.
I was peeved. What about their appetites for dinner? What about nutrition? What about everything going the way I think it will!!
I had an appointment to get to, so I gave everyone a goodbye kiss/hug/look depending on the person and headed out the door. In the car I had a little time to pray and talk to myself. I realized my “they should eat like THIS” self-righteousness was kind of a street that didn’t go too far. Yeah, yeah, that they eat relatively healthily is important. But not important enough to get worked up over.
And sometimes, in family life, especially in step-family life, people have differing ideas about when to eat cake. Or what bed-time should look like. Or how much fit-throwing, sulking or back-talk is reasonable. Or. . .whatever. And part of being a loving family, but especially part of being a loving step-family, is giving each other room to be a little different, to have varying opinions on how things “should” be.
We don’t all have to think the same way about cake.
This photograph taken at 4:03 pm.