While I am wrangling a newborn, posting from me will be a little sparse. Thankfully! I have some amazing stand-ins who are here to share some of their most vivid childhood memories. Today’s lovely guest posting is by Amanda from Poppies and Ice-cream. Whenever I read her blog I marvel at how similar we are. She is like my Mexican counterpart, living in Amsterdam. Pretty awesome.
When Lauren asked us to write about our most vivid childhood memory, I had to stop and think for a while. I remember the first time I saw a killer whale at Sea World, and those penguins behind glass that you look at while you stand on an electric escalator as you pass by them. I remember watching all the animals (the snakes, the giraffes, the panda bears!) at the (huge) San Diego Zoo. I remember being absolutely sure (and later, disappointed) that the animals at the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland were real-life elephants, crocodiles and tigers. I remember petting farms, feeding goats and flamingos. I guess I was very impressed by all these animals, because later I would go on to study Biology and Veterinary Medicine.
Anyhow, as I tried to bring back more childhood memories the one that I should write about struck me. Growing up the Christmas holidays were always full of magic. Like most kids, I believed in Santa Claus and the 3 Wise Magi from the East up until the last possible moment, when one Christmas morning our stockings were filled with the red-and-white candy canes that I had seen laying on the top of the fridge for well over a month. That’s when I knew who was behind it all. Or maybe it was the year I had asked for the “Hornomágico” (magic oven). This was a toy oven that made real cakes. My oldest cousin had it, and I remember looking forward to visiting her so we could bake and play for hours. She lived in a huge apartment building, which came with lots of neighbours. It was lots of fun. But my favourite game was preparing cakes with her magic oven. The cakes produced by said artifact were pancake-like and after they were ready we would proceed to decorate them with chocolate spread, glazes, meringue, sprinkles…
This one Christmas I had begged and prayed and hassled my parents about it. I had written my letter to the 3 Wise Magi, complete with photos of the toys I wanted (cut and pasted from toy catalogues). On January 6 I rushed down to the tree, early in the morning, with my brother, and there it was. My Magic Oven, right under my shoe. We had to wait for what seemed an eternity for our parents to wake up and help us assemble the toys. When it was finally time, after taking out all the plastick-y pieces from the box and putting them together my dear mom exclaimed: “What? This thing cooks with a light bulb? Of course it will not work!” I explained that “Yes it works, my cousin has it, we make cakes with it all the time.” All the crying, begging and annoyingly repeating of my story did not work. She took the oven, put everything back in the box and took me to the shop so I could pick something else. She told me some story about how the Wise Magi left the receipts with the parents in case of events like this. What? I thought they made the stuff with their magic powers, you know, like the Elves in the North Pole. I remember I got She-Ra’s crystal castle instead, which was a great choice because my brother had He-Man’s Grayskull castle and we would play epic games that lasted for hours.
Nevertheless the spell had been broken, a tiny doubt had started to grow in me and later these events would be proof of what I knew but didn’t want to accept.
It’s funny that I remember this episode so vividly, as, at 32, after trying to find a job in my field for 3 years, doing internships, taking unrelated jobs (in the tourism business) and applying to any vacancy even remotely related to the veterinary, bio-medical or food technology fields, without success, I am about to start a business*, in, you guessed it, baking and hand-painting cakes. Some childhood dreams last forever.
*I want to say Christina’s post on owning her own business and the perks of being your own boss (here at your blog) was an inspiration. I kept coming back to re-read it during the long process it took before I finally decided to take the plunge, research all the legal details and the market, swallowed my fears and put myself out there.