I've always enjoyed baking. Being allergic to both eggs and milk I've had to be a little creative and search for recipes that I can actually eat -- I didn't have chocolate cake until I was 20! I also am a little famous (mostly in my husband and my classrooms) for my vegan chocolate cupcakes. So I wasn't at all surprised that one of my friends asked me to bake her daughter's first birthday cake.
I'm also a bit of a procrastinator. I didn't try out the organic, sugar-free, gluten-free recipe until this morning, and I didn't really prepare in the event of a cake-disaster. And as Murphy's law would have it, I had a very bad first outing. I've never, ever had a cake fall apart on me in all my years of baking. Lucky for me, my kitchen has had very few casualties. I know that it's not the end of the world and that I had the time to bake a second cake (I also had enough of the very pricey ingredients).
I know that I shouldn't be resentful that my first cake fell apart when it came out of my new silicone cake pan. I also know that the only person that will be eating the cake is the birthday girl and perhaps some of the other little people that are invited to the party. Another friend is making the cake that will be consumed by the other guests, so I shouldn't be too worried about my cake.
Is this cake an allegory for my lack of baby-making ability?
In my non-babymaking life I'm pretty successful. I have a solid career, a wonderful husband and a nice home. I am surrounded by wonderful friends and a mostly sane family. The one thing that is not going my way is having a child of my own. My ideas of fairness and what should happen have been dashed too many times. Why do my friends with unstable relationships and poor finances find it so easy to pro-create? Why do my girlfriends just think about getting pregnant and a month later they are happily morning-sick?
Am I doomed to be envious my entire life? Am I supposed to just care for other people's children at school and bake cakes for birthday parties? Will I be the forever-childless woman in the room who seemingly can do whatever she wants, whenever she wants?
I don't want to be the one that my mommy friends envy because I don't have stretch marks and sleepless nights.
I have thought many, many times in the past few months that I would give all of it up: my love of shopping, my job, and maybe even yoga if I could just have one baby of my own. I'd give up the ability to sleep in and fancy meals out. I'd give up my perky little car for a mini-van. I'd give up vacations to exotic locales so I could stay home and bake cakes for my own little one.
I'd do it all in a second without looking back.
I just feel so sad that I feel like I'm never going to have a chance to do any of it.