I'm just not the best at this stuff. Sometimes I feel like such a schlep at all things domestic.
Actually, I often do fairly well on cakes; sometimes I even make a really pretty one.
But this one was a disaster from start to finish -- falling apart, a crater running through the top layer, one layer sliding off the other, frosting that wouldn't hold its shape ....
I know my Betsy, though. She won't care. She'll see the love that went into the baking and despite the failed decorating she'll say, "That's okay, Mommy. It will still taste good!" And she'll be right. It won't be perfect, but it will still taste good.
And yet, I wanted it to be perfect for her.
Sort of like the way I want the world to be for my children. I can't always stop that from slipping and sliding out of place, either, and maybe that's the lesson here.
"You did your best, didn't you?" Atticus asked sweetly, as I teared up looking at the awful result of my labor.
"Ye-e-e-s," I whined. "But it still didn't come out right!"
Yes. It's true.
Sometimes, we do our best and things still fall apart.
But, a mother's love, a husband's sweetness, and a little girl who can see beyond outward trappings ... those things go a long way toward putting the pieces back together.
And, because it's chocolate, it will still taste good.
And, of course, I get the best present of all: Betsy the Best.