this year as we shopped for the families in need, i hoped one of the little girls in the many families wished for an easy-bake oven. i never saw that wish. it wasn’t until the last day of shopping i saw an 8-year-old who had simple wishes…clothes, cd player, paints…that i decided to use some money left over and get her that easy-bake oven.
the easy-bake was one of the my favorite things as a child. i baked many cakes in that oven. two or so years later i moved on to bigger cakes and even won a few cake decorating contests in our local 4-h club. somewhere along the line i stopped cooking. maybe i just got lazy. maybe i caved into fast food and frozen 5 minute meals. maybe i stopped enjoying it. of course, it’s not the 1950s. women are working. dinner doesn’t have to be on the table at 5. those days are long gone. and that is just fine.
as we were shopping my swain watched my eyes light up every time we passed the easy-bake oven. christmas morning the last gift i unwrapped was just that. i thought he was being cute. thoughtful. sweet. all the things he his. later that evening my fears and anxieties overwhelmed me, as they often do. i crawled into bed, under the covers where it was safe and warm. he came back and he told me why he bought that easy-bake oven.
he wanted me to go back. go back to before age 15. and remember what it was like.
some kids had a rough childhood. some kids were poor. some kids never got that easy-bake oven they wished for. but i did. besides the depression i had a wonderful childhood. full of so many beautiful memories. life was easy. and it was mostly good. until i was raped when i was 15. everything changed. and i mean everything.
life was never the same.
today, the easy-bake requires no light bulb. and the cake seems very small. i hope the 8-year-old girl is enjoying it. i hope her life gets better. i hope my 15 never happens to her. but if it does, i hope she finds someone like my swain. and i hope he buys her an easy-bake oven.