When I was little, I loved baking with my mom.
Mom always let me help add the ingredients and stir it up. I thought it was so cool that together, we could make something so delicious. It was always more sweet for getting to help her make it.
When I was about eight, I didn't understand what it meant to bake something "from scratch." I thought that meant you made up the recipe all by yourself - because to me, "from scratch" meant you started with absolutely nothing, not even a recipe. So one day, I decided to bake a cake "from scratch."
I don't remember if I followed along with another recipe, but I did end up with something that at least looked like a cake. I put in eggs, flour, milk, all that good cake-y stuff. I also added lots of chocolate, because when you're eight, a good cake needs chocolate.
I even made up the recipe for the frosting I put on top. I remember very clearly that the frosting had an entire bar of Hershey's chocolate in it, and once I put it on, it was about half as thick as the cake itself.
Talk about sugar overload.
We took the cake with to Grandma and Grandpa's that Sunday and I proudly dished out that Heart Attack in a Pan to all my relatives (who probably steered clear of my baking for a while after that). I don't remember what the cake actually tasted like - cake or a brick. I do remember eating it and thinking, Ew! There's way too much frosting on here! I think that was when I started to dislike chocolate cake compared to other cakes.
But Grandma thought I'd done a very good job, and Mom was proud of me for trying something new all by myself, and that was all that mattered to me.
That trend has continued throughout my life. Strong women in my family have loved, supported, encouraged, protected, and nourished me and my spirit, making me into another strong woman. I don't think any of the women in my life ever said, "Don't try that. You won't be able to do it." Instead it was, "Good luck! Try hard and you can do anything!"
The older I get (said the 26-year-old), the more I appreciate that loving push from those strong women. Many children dream of being something huge and amazing when they're little, but as they grow up and become more practical, that dream falls by the wayside in favor of something more attainable. But that hasn't happened to me.
When I was little, I wanted to write. When I was medium, I wanted to write. And now that I'm big, I still want to write. Though I'm more aware of how difficult it is to become a huge name in the writing industry, I still think I can be a well-known, successful author.
All it will take is some hard work and lots of love to support me.
Happy Mother's Day and a great big thank you to all the women who helped me become who I am.