The passing of May marks the end of birthday season for us. There was parties, way too much sugar, new photos taken and time spent in the memories of the old ones.
And there’s reflection.
“You’ve been a mom for 8 years!” Someone reminded me when I told them how old Baron is. Eight. Years.
I want so badly to be able to put into words what that means. To be able to offer up some intensely wise parenting advice that my younger self would have soaked up in the midst of tear filled days, from both baby and myself. But every word seems to fall short. Maybe it’s like the time I tried to paint a photo of Gabe in one of my watercolor classes in college. He ended up looking more like a monkey than the handsome man he is. My professor could see my frustration. “It’s hard to paint what you are too close to.”
I can’t sum up much of anything relating to parenting because I’m still very much in the midst of it.
There may no longer be diapers but there are scraped knees from just learning how to ride a bike. There are tears from the frustration of homework and so many tough questions and decisions that come from parenting three very different little people.
I do know that parenting is the best kind of hard.
The sort that makes you better. In an uncomfortable, awkward and painful sort of way.
It’s heart bursting joy and gut wrenching sadness. Quite often those polarizing emotions are felt at the same time.
I have my children to thank for teaching me how to be vulnerable. To be okay with pieces of my heart existing outside of my body. Is this a good thing? I think so. I can’t fake that I have anything in control. They keep me humble and make me proud.
I love better. Deeper. Both myself and these little people.
They’ve led me to grace time and time again.
Being a mom is the hardest thing I’ve done (am doing) and yet when a dear friend texts a picture of her new baby I melt into a puddle of joyful tears because it’s the best kind of hard.
Watermelon and Peach Fresh Fruit Cake
I almost didn’t post a picture of this “cake” on Instagram. I didn’t like the light, or the background, or the angle, or… But the response warranted this post and reminded me not to fear imperfection. A lesson I’m learning again and again.
When I asked Roman what he wanted for dessert he said, “watermelon and peaches.” His desire for fresh fruit and my desire for a tiered cake birthed this sort-of cake. He and his friends ate it with the same sort of abandon they would have had it been chocolate.
1 small watermelon (for a 6 to 8-inch cake)
2-3 peaches, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh blueberries
There really isn’t much of a recipe. The size of your cake depends on the size of your watermelon.
Cut four 3/4 to 1-inch layers and ran a knife just on the inside of the rind. Stack the layers on top of each other and trim up the edges to make sure they are the same size.
In between the layers are thinly sliced peaches.
Plunge a skewer through it all so the layers hold together and sprinkle with fresh blueberries.
I wouldn’t be opposed to vanilla ice cream or some sort of sorbet served alongside the slices but really the kids didn’t need it.