gingerbread house lessons

There is a lesson about writing, parenthood & life wrapped up in this gingerbread house.

Here’s the story: last year for Christmas, one of my dear friends sent me a lovely gift of a gingerbread house Bundt cake pan. My daughter was too young for the joys of gingerbread decorating last year, but this year I could not wait to see the smile light up her face as we had a messy, frosting-covered afternoon decorating with peppermints and M&Ms. 🍭

It was my first time using a Bundt cake pan, and I was a bit intimidated by the intricate design — certain part of it would stick to the pan — but I carefully followed the recipe and instructions. When it came time to turn the cake pan upside-down onto the plate, the gingerbread house plopped right out– perfect!

I bought decorating supplies and whipped up a batch of homemade buttercream frosting, just the right consistency to adhere candies to cake. Yesterday was a rainy day here in the Bay Area — perfect for a cozy indoor afternoon around the kitchen table.

This would be the beginning of a beloved new family tradition. Years and years from now, I imagined my daughter reminiscing about the homemade gingerbread cakes from her childhood…

But when I brought out the cake, the icing, the candies in their little bowls, and led my daughter over to the table, she immediately stiffened and shook her head. “No, no, no!” she cried, running away.

My toddler is bafflingly AFRAID of the gingerbread cake.

She wants nothing to do with it.

I continue to learn this lesson again and again — in parenthood, writing, life. We make our careful plans and dreams. We want everything to go so perfectly. But all we can control is our own small part of the process. We cannot control other people’s reactions. (Especially those tiny humans! They are enigmas!)

Life is messy. Writing is messy. Creativity is messy. It will not go as planned. And that is okay. It’s all about staying humble, being flexible, adapting, and laughing through it all.

My husband and I had a wonderful time decorating our gingerbread house together. 😂

Maybe next year, our daughter will want to join in on the fun too!

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