My daughter wants to be a baker when she grows up. This has been her ambition for several months now. After reading Fancy Nancy and the Delectable Cupcakes at bedtime a few nights ago, her and I talked.
"Mama? What's it called, what I want to be? Not a cook..."
"Yeah, that's it. I wanna be a baker and make cakes and cupcakes, like Fancy Nancy did. But I'd make chocolate."
"Chocolate is good. Is that your favorite flavor?" I asked.
"Yes. But Mama? When I'm a baker, I might need some help. I'm not very big and I can't reach the big bowls and I can't do the oven. Will you be a baker with me? I might get lonely, too, doing it all by myself in the kitchen. And I will need your help. I don't know all the ingredients. I know butter and sugar and chocolate chips and vanilla and raw eggs. You're my best friend, so will you be a baker with me?"
"Of course. I'll be a baker with you," I tell her.
The odds are, Alice will have many career goals before she gets to college. Even then, she's likely to change majors and down the road, possibly change careers all together. That's entirely okay. I will support her dreams.
For now, her dreams are literally about cakes. The other night, having sleeping troubles in her own bed, Alice found herself in my bed, dreaming. I was awaken to the sound of her halfway crying, calling out, and very distraught.
"NO MAMA! I wanted the icing on it! Mama, NOOOO!"
I'm not sure about the criminal act I was committing. Seriously, how dare I take the icing off! I mean, everything is better with icing. What I do know is Alice eats, sleeps, and breaths sweets. All children do, I suppose. My girl seems to take it to an extreme. Sweets are constantly in the forefront of her mind. She could stare at the pastry counter in Whole Foods for hours admiring the pretty cakes, tarts, and petit fours, asking for clarification about the names of items. She looks through my cake cookbook with the same sparkle in her eye as when she's reading Sleeping Beauty or Rapunzel. If 20 years from now she's pursuing a career as a pastry chef, I will proudly say I knew it all along. Then again, a few months ago, part of me thought she was destined to be a UPS driver. So there's that.