“She made it herself!” I blurt out. I am showing my sister a grove of Christmas tree cakes crafted by my daughter. I am expecting reservation, or even a look of disdain.
My sister is perfect. Honestly, it’s disgusting. She is petite, with fine bone structure that elegantly defines her face and her figure. Her dark hair and fair skin, make her features stand out, even in monochrome. That isn’t her limit.
She plays the piano and sings by ear. She can sew, knit, stitch, crochet, or quilt anything, and if the pattern is not quite right, she can do the math in her head to fix it. This isn’t addition and subtraction people, this is matrices and fractions. Oh, and one last thing, she’s a shark in finance with a cool temperament in business.
But she is also uncharacterizable. You cannot fit her into an absurd Hollywood stereotype, she is constantly surprising me. She demands painstaking detail of herself, but accepts what others expect of themselves. She is some impossible hybrid between my detail-oriented mother and my paternal grandmother, who lived in a space of quiet acceptance. And, never, NEVER are (were) any of them boastful.
The grove of trees is bedecked with smeary leaves of mint green and a thick impasto of a suspicious brown for the trunks. Scattered beneath are “gifts.” This deserves air quotes because they are misshapen prisms of pink, green and purple, spattered with cake sprinkles. Did I also mention that my sister crafts exquisite pies that ooze over the edges of her handmade crusts, as well as angel food cake you might mistake for a cloud?
Staring down at this array of dried out vanilla cakes, pieced together with a hypoallergenic icing concoction (Check out Meat Eating Vegans for the why behind that), she simply says: “That’s incredible, good for her!”
I am dumbstruck. I have ushered my sister away from the rest of our family so she can preview my daughter’s creation, her niece’s creation, because I am certain that I need to protect my baby girl from her aunt’s judgement. That judgement never comes. Ever. My perfect sister sees right through the messy platter.
I am a fool.
While my sister is imagining a burgeoning talent, excited for her niece’s new found interest, I am transferring my own insecurities. While her aunt is nothing but proud of her creativity and her bravery for displaying her creation, her mother is casting a needless safety net around her that would instead hold her back.
Every one of her cousins had a taste, and reported: “They’re delicious!” She is beaming, and so is her ever more perfect aunt.
Live within limits without limiting life
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