I Believe in Cupcakes

Kali Brianna - San Diego, California
Entered on October 27, 2011
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in cupcakes. No, not the contrived pink and yellow Easter cupcakes with stupid bunny rings stuck into fluorescent colored frosting. The real kind. The homemade kind. I believe in the cupcakes that require me to break out the measuring cups, count out the eggs, and sift the flour.

Store bought cupcakes, dry and unimaginative, are merely small cakes decorated individually and packaged in order to be consumed by the masses. There’s nothing to them, simply another sweet lost in the wake of consumerism.

When I smell the sweet and familiar scent of my tiny cakes baking in the oven I can only smile. It takes me back to a simpler time when my hair bounced in a messy ponytail and I skipped through the house with my tiny red Converse always untied. It takes me back to the first time my mom and I made cupcakes together.

I was five or six, attending one of those stereotypical public schools. I, like the rest of my friends, was picked on for being, well, a little bit off of the beaten track. That day had been rather unpleasant. The biggest bully at school had decided to make fun of me and my best friend simply because we were friends. But I suppose in elementary school a little girl with a ponytail and a little boy with a Batman shirt aren’t supposed to be all that chummy.

Sam was only an inch or two taller than me, with a blond bowl cut, green eyes and a pair of red Converse that matched mine. We had hit it off right away, matching shoes and all; becoming best friends was only natural. Natural for us at least. It’s traumatizing to be made fun of for having a friend, especially at that age.

I came home to my mother discouraged and unhappy. Of course she automatically knew something was wrong. She simply said, “Let’s make cupcakes.” So we did. She let me crack open the eggs even though she knew I would get shells in the batter, she let me sift the flour even though I got tired half of the way through and she had to finish the job, but what she really did was let me talk. At first I told her about what happened and soon enough we were joking, laughing, and tossing flour into each other’s hair. Ever since then I’ve been able to talk to her, really talk to her about anything.

That day gave me more than a love of baking; it gave me an open dialogue with my mom. I believe in the importance of that open dialogue. I believe in cupcakes.