becoming the woman God needs me to be
Some people love the cake, or the ice cream, or the frosting. Some prefer syrup, or whipped cream, while a select few gravitate toward nuts. But me… I’m the girl that can’t bypass the bowl of colored mini-twigs of sugar at the end of a build-your-own-sundae line. I keep extra in my freezer just in case the opportunity arises.
Today I am thankful for sprinkles.
In my mind, sprinkles are the real icing on top. Sprinkles are the memories that I can replay over and over in my head and smile every time.
When I was little, I was blessed enough to spend so much time with my Polish grandparents. Papa was always there to pick me up from school. And he was always early, taking extra care to make every teacher and secretary feel special just by giving them a listening ear and a smile. I would tell him about school all the way home, where Busia was already in the kitchen cooking dinner. Her hugs were and continue to be some of my favorite. But every day (ever day) there was something waiting for me. Something that I could enjoy while doing my homework. Something I was allowed to eat BEFORE dinner, even though it was technically dessert. Something that to this day reminds me of shouting out the answers together to Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. Something that reminds me of countless card games they both patiently taught me to play. I am thankful there was always a tall glass of milk, and a cake donut with white icing… and colorful sprinkles.
I’m not sure how old I was when I started backing Christmas cookies with my Mom. It was in the black brick house by the airport, where our kitchen window faced the field. The same window where we used to feed the squirrels (sorry Dad) all winter. Cookie baking used to feel like a marathon with batch after batch going in and coming out of the oven. We used to make so many different kinds, like marzipan and razzle apple streusel. But nothing could hold a candle to the addiction of butter cookies. Mom was always responsible for making the dough, and using the cookie shooter. I was the primary decorator. Every family member had their favorite kind, even though they technically were all the same. But this little ritual of ours continued through high school, when I went away to college, and even now as an adult. Sometimes we switch up the location, and even now some of our baking roles have been reversed. But this was always our thing. An entire day devoted to making, tasting and baking… and now into adulthood we have a nice dinner and share a bottle of wine :-) Of all the tasks, putting on the sprinkles was always my favorite. And such a beast really, trying to keep it on the cookie and not all over the pan! But they were our cookies, and we would tweak the recipes, make our own versions and creations. I am so thankful for our days devoted to one another, surrounded by sprinkles.
As an adult, making new friends can be awkward. Almost weird. When you’re young you have constant contact and proximity on your side because of school. But after college, when everyone moves and you no longer have class each day, bus rides, or walking down the hall of a dorm room you find it a little more challenging. And sometimes a little more awkward. But every once and awhile… it clicks.
A coworker becomes a friend. And that friend becomes a snowmobile racing buddy, a multi-hour car ride partner, a shopping consultant, a listening board, a motivator, and an inspiration. And its an added bonus when you find out that friend is a cupcake making genius, who makes sure your cupcakes are topped with sprinkles.
When I go to the grocery store, and walk past the bakery I always check to see if they have the “right” kind of donuts that Busia always had waiting. Not because I’m some crazed sugar addict. But because I’m thankful she was there for me every day after school, because I’m thankful my Mom always made time to make memories with me, because I’m thankful for friends like Teddi. All three of these women sprinkle joy into my life.
So today God I am thankful for… sprinkles.