Growing up as the youngest of six children I relished in the moments when I got to play little Mother to my sister’s children: dancing and singing to the “Little Mermaid” with Whitney; feeding Darrian and Danica in an oversized rocking chair; sliding down the giant staircase with my sweet little niece Erin; reading nighttime stories to Anna every night until she fell asleep; swimming in the ocean with Teddy and Johnny, and jumping on the trampoline for endless hours name just a few of my favorite memories.
As the years passed I silently reminisced as they grew into young adults, reflecting on those memories with fondness. Subconsciously they shaped me, influenced me, and taught me with such simplicity about the type of person that I hoped to be. Of course I’ve made mistakes, and done things that I feverishly regret, but it was always these children and my memories of our special bonds that made me always want to try harder to emulate the type of person they would look up to.
Now that I am a Mother I hope that my nieces, my children’s cousins, my sisters and my own daughters will be little Mothers to my children. I desire those same memories to influence my children and anticipate a mutual affection. I hope these little Mothers will join with my children in reciting their favorite song lyrics word for word at the top of their lungs, listen joyfully as my children read their favorite books to them, and tickle them mercilessly. As they grow I hope they will offer advice about dating and life, patiently tutor them, and of course, share their favorite recipes.
Apple Spice Cake
This recipe is a long family favorite. It’s a simple cake that children can offer their mother with just a little help from Daddy and it whips together in a manner of minutes.
Core and thinly slice 1 apple
½ cup walnuts or almonds
½ cup white sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ cup butter
1 cup white sugar
Mix until light and fluffy
Add 2 eggs one at a time until mixed
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups white flour
Stir together just until mixed
Pour half the batter into a well greased angel food cake
Layer the sliced apples over the batter
Sprinkle half the streusel mixture over apples
Top with remaining batter
Sprinkle remaining streusel over top of cake
Bake at 375°F for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean
Serve while warm with whipped cream
*I like a thicker cake, so I generally double the recipe
My family is spread in age and distance, but it is my prayer that these obstacles will not impede our ability to recognize the power of our connections and share in life’s moments with both diligence and all the love we are capable of possessing, never ceasing to create new cherished memories to sustain us.