Last Friday night, my kids’ school had their annual Fall Festival. Each classroom hosts some sort of silly game, and the kids either buy an endless game playing bracelet or tickets to participate. They run from classroom to classroom, playing games, winning prizes, and consuming vast amounts of candy. In short, it is nirvana for kids.
In my hesitant efforts to get involved without getting sucked into the volunteer vortex, I agreed to do 2 things: run a game for one hour and bake a cake for the cake walk. The game was the easy part. The cake, a different story altogether.
I used to bake cakes and decorate them for my own benefit, and for those of others. I took three cake decorating classes at Michael’s craft store and learned how to make all sorts of flowers, patterns, etc. I have a toolbox complete with fifty or so different tips. You know the plastic kind you get when you buy a tube of icing at the grocery store? Amateur toys! Mine are metal, numbered and serious business. I have multiple shaped cake pans: Mickey Mouse, Scooby Doo, a scarecrow, a haunted house, a candy cane. The problem is, I have not used them in two years. We moved twice since I last used my cake decorating skills, so when it came time to bake the cake, I could not find the pans anywhere. At last, we found them stored in a box under the house labeled “Christmas decorations and cake pans.” Don’t you love movers’ interpretations of sorting like items in one box? Anyway…
The pan was located, I slaved over the cake for two hours, I dropped it off at the school with moments to spare, and then I went on to work my shift at the Lollipop Pull Game. Meanwhile, Tracy takes Molly & TJ off to explore the myriad possibilities for their festival enjoyment. Soon, TJ comes rushing back into the room where I was diligently helping kids pull lollipops. He was squealing and laughing and jabbering a mile a minute.
When I finally calmed him down, here is what I discovered: he had won my cake in the cake walk! He told Tracy, “Dad, I’m gonna go win Mom’s cake for her.” The cake walk, run very much like musical chairs, consists of a circle of numbers on the floor. When the music stops, each kid stops on a number and an adult pulls a random number out of the hat. The first number drawn? TJ’s number.
It was quite possibly one of the sweetest moments in my life. Oh, and here is the cake:
For many kids that night, including Molly, it was a vain attempt to win a coveted cake. For TJ, however, it was a cake walk.