Please tell me I'm not the only woman with leftovers of various cupcake papers in my kitchen cupboard. You know how it is... you buy a 36 pack of birthday papers, and you make 24 cupcakes. The other 12 papers go up in the cupboard.
Lemon poppyseed muffins, pre glaze, in birthday, Valentine, and Halloween papers.
My mother, the cupcake queen.
I have memories of taking those monstrous 1970s Tupperware cupcake keepers to school, back when you could actually take home baked goods into a public school classroom without everybody getting their gluten free knickers in a knot. Birthdays meant being admonished 47 times, "Don't forget to bring home my cupcake keepers!"
Fast forward to when I started having kids, and my mom became Grammy, and started baking cupcakes for them. She did this for quite a while, and I can only assume that she bought papers like I did. Because when she cleaned out her cupboard and brought me her collection of sprinkles and papers, let's just say, it was a sizable collection. I promptly put them in a high cupboard and shut the door, but every once in a while, Paul opens that cupboard and gives me a hairy eyeball. The poor man is a minimalist. And only one of the children takes after him. The rest are pack rats like me.
To my loyal readers (you know, all like 8 of you), it's been pretty obvious that I've been going through an identity crisis lately over this whole not homeschooling any more thing. I've been thinking about what kind of school mom I want to be, and one of the things I came up with was after school snack time. Normally, I bring the teens home and they tear through the kitchen like locust, buzzing down everything in their path and then retreating to their rooms in a state of stupor.
In an effort to make the chaotic time right after getting home from school more pleasant, I decided I'd have snacks waiting for them, and they could decompress and talk about their day. --And perhaps if I define "snack" as a muffin or two, instead of the whole kitchen, we'll actually buy less food?
Since the high school kids started a week before the younger kids, Jack has been helping me bake muffins each day, and I've decided something.
My goal for the school year is to use up all the cupcake papers.
Not to be the most active mom on the PTA, not to have the kids with the highest grades, or see them all get perfect attendance awards. Not to never forget an important project, a jacket, a lunchbox, or even a child (although I'd really like to make it through the year without forgetting to pick anybody up from anywhere). I know I'm going to fail at so very many things this year.
While using up all the cupcake papers may seem like setting the bar really low, it's more about what it represents for me. 1) it will please Paul to have one.less.thing. in the house; 2) I may actually bust out a cookbook and try some new recipes, something I haven't done in years; but most importantly, 3) it will create a welcoming place for my kids at the end of the school day.
Using up the cupcake papers says to my children, "I was thinking of you while you were gone."
"I care about you. I know you're hungry. I made this for you." And if I can convey those things to my children, if they know that, after school, I will listen while we nosh together, then I will consider this school year a success.
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