I love a child’s enthusiasm. They have the ability to take an idea, think ahead to the next step and begin creation. More accurately, they look at me with that shiny light bulb over the head look and say, “Let’s do that.”
I love nothing more than to see this happen. I know it means so many little cogs are rotating and synapses are sparking inside those brilliant little minds. It means they are thinking, using their brain in new and creative ways. It also means I have a lot of work in front of me.
Today it was cupcakes. The kids and I were reading a book called Tina Cocolina: Queen of the Cupcakes by Pablo Cartaya, Kristen Richards, Martin Howard. It’s all about a little cupcake girl who needs to find her perfect topping. To me it’s a story about finding yourself, finding your own voice and place in the world.
To the kids, however, it is a story about cupcakes. Therefore, upon finishing the book, the kids tugged my arm, pulling me all the way into the kitchen in order to make cupcakes just like those in the book. I do not have the talent to make cupcakes such as those in the book.
I am a good mother, though, and soon we were covered in flour, cheeks speckled with sugar granules, and lips dark with chocolate smudges. I think I saw my daughter lick the counter at one point, trying to taste the last of the cocoa powder that had puffed onto every surface.
The point is, kids are creative, imaginative, and persistent. They are so curious and naive that they want, need to explore it all. They have no boundaries yet. They have no hang ups or concept of too difficult, too exhausting.
I, as an adult, am well aware that making cupcakes will not only take an hour of prep and bake time but will destroy my kitchen, will require extensive washing of hands and face, half way through one or both of my kids will be bored, and the end product will look nothing like the cookbook’s pristinely frosted loveliness.
Even knowing all of this, we will make cupcakes, because I will never get tired of seeing the light bulb turn on. And though I have arrived at a time in my life where cynicism trumps wonder, I do remember what it was like to be a child, how amazing everything, anything can be. I would never take that away from a child. I may, however, place blame on the author who forced me to make cupcakes today.