It’s only when you have been a Mum for a few years that you truly appreciate everything your own Mum did for you.
My daughter just turned 4, it’s a major milestone, cupcakes at preschool are a rite of passage.
There was never any doubt they would be Frozen themed, I planned ahead and bought the cupcake wrappers and toppers on eBay to arrive the day before. I bought the cupcake mixture, eggs, milk, butter, and decided to make them in the morning so they would be super fresh and delicious.
I know I’m a fly by the seat of my pants chick, time has a way of getting away from me, I always think I have hours and then accomplish more in the last 10 minutes then I did in the 3 hours before.
On the day I confirmed with her teacher what time in the afternoon to bring the cupcakes, 1:50pm, I’m thinking plenty of time to go home, make 2 batches of cupcakes (24 in total), wash my hair, put on some makeup, balance out all the times I drop off my immaculate child with a messy Mum bun rocking yesterday’s clothes.
My Mum offers to watch my son for a few hours so I drive across the city to her house, then to the supermarket for cupcake cases and toothpicks then home. Make the cupcake mixture ready to scoop into the pan and realise the cases won’t fit, they are too big, I can’t make mini cupcakes because the Frozen wrappers will be too large.
I need to go and buy a 12 cup cupcake pan, pronto! Rush to the store and back, first batch in the oven and set time, tick tick tick, I start making the next batch but have to wait for the first batch to cook for 20 mins and then cool in the pan for 5 before I can cook the second batch.
While the second batch is cooking I fold the Frozen wrappers together, only half of them won’t stay together so I need to sticky tape each one inside to stop them unfolding, then each cupcake topper needs to be threaded onto a toothpick, not complicated but time consuming, I can see the dream of freshly washed bouncy curls cascading down my back fading away.
Ding, the cupcakes are cooked, I need to start icing the first batch while the second batch cools, make the icing, ice each one and then sprinkle half with blue sprinkles and half with rainbow star sprinkles, no gender discrimination just because it looks pretty.
I feel like the last hour has sped up, I actually need to be leaving soon and I’m still finishing placing each cupcake into its Frozen wrapper & onto a birthday candle tray. I’ve surrendered to being happy with applying a smudge of lipstick and redoing my ponytail.
I place the trays in the car and pray I don’t have to stop suddenly on the way there, I refuse to do more than one trip even when there’s 15 shopping bags involved, so I navigate the Fort Knox that is the multiple gates into her preschool with 2 trays of precariously placed cupcakes and look across to see 18 pairs of eyes looking out the window with expectation at me.
I only noticed my daughter’s.
She was closest to the window and I saw the expression on her face as she saw me come through the gate and it touched me.
Sitting there excitedly waiting for her Mum to bring the cupcakes to preschool so all her friends could sing Happy Birthday before she made a wish and blew out her candles.
She had told each of her friends which character they could have, Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Olaf, Sven and as the time had passed her anticipation had heightened, it hadn’t occurred to her to consider the possibility that I might not turn up and disappoint her and her friends. Seeing me at the gates reinforced in that split second that she could trust and rely on me and I saw that in her eyes.
I remembered one time when I was about 14, I went away to a Girl Guide Muster for a week with other girl guide troops from around the state. Half way through the week I learned that our mothers were able to attend the camp to visit for the day and see everything we were doing, I hadn’t known about that, I hadn’t asked my Mum to come.
With the girls from my camp we walked about 1km up to where more than 50 buses were arriving. As the Mum’s got off the buses and hugged their daughter’s I was downcast, I thought for sure my Mum wasn’t coming, she didn’t know because I hadn’t known to tell her, then down the steps of a bus my Mum came looking for me and waving towards me.
That memory is etched in my brain, that relief that I felt that my Mum was there for me even when I rightly expected disappointment, she had made over a 2 hour trip to see me for a couple of hours, I appreciated then how important it is to just show up.
I hope that in the times my daughter’s trust in my unconditional love is tested that she will take comfort in knowing that I will always do my best to support her on and off the bus.