To which Cathy replied, “The box is in the cabinet.” I didn’t realize we already had the ingredients needed to give me exactly what I wanted. So what did I do? Nothing.
I hadn’t made a cake before, Cathy always makes the cakes. But it should be no big deal right? Just follow the direction right? But I still didn’t do it.
So I came up with a brilliant plan that I thought would also be romantic. We’ll do it together!
The weekend came, we ran errands and enjoyed a spontaneously planned cookout at my sister in laws, therefore, no time to bake our cake.
The next day came and still we did everything else except bake our cake.
Then, as I watched Cathy resting on the sofa I announced, “I’m going to go bake you a cake now.”
“Oh really?” She replied. To which I asked, “Can I ask you questions as I go to make sure I don’t miss anything?”
As I carefully read the instructions over and over again and assembled the ingredients I was increasingly reassured by two simple facts. That I’d given myself permission to be helped in this process, and that I would be receiving it from someone who would offer it patiently. How many of us have this opportunity?
I remember being instructed by impatient teachers who had to move things along because there was always so much to do and my fastest was never fast enough.
I remember my mother repeatedly stepping in with an “Oh just let me do it” scolding which as I realize now had more to do with her impatience than anything.
Can you relate to this?
I wonder how many of us even as adults walk around with pockets full of little insecurities that when combined weigh heavily on our confidence. Simply because our lives, though filled with numerous opportunities to learn, were sorely lacking in the patient mentors we needed to help us through our teachable moments.
So when I finally decided it was time for me to learn how to bake a cake I knew I had the mentor I needed. I could take my time and ask the same question twice if I needed to. Which I did repeatedly.
With my Dyslexia I checked in with Cathy to make sure I was reading the instructions correctly. With my organizational challenges I made sure I was remembering the sequence correctly.
Her support was encouraging and patient. Just one more reminder of how much can be accomplished when you have the right partner.
This of course applies to more than a marriage. Employees need this of their coworkers and supervisors. Students need this of their teachers, and children need this from their parents and siblings.
In society today I see inspiring examples of partnership on a large scale, but they primarily happen in crisis situations such as natural disasters or terrorist acts.
But in every day life I see individuals enduring difficult times while others stand by saying, “Better him than me.”
Where did we learn this, why do we do this to one another?
There is one thing I am certain of, none of us makes it through this life alone and shame on anyone who allows another human being to be alone when they could reach out. Even if the only thing they can offer is their presence.
There’s a saying that, “life isn’t a piece of cake.” Well I believe it can come pretty close, when you’re baking it together.
Thanks for being you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brian R. King LCSW is a Relationship Breakthrough Specialist. His breakthrough strategies draw on his experience as a 24 year cancer survivor, adult with Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, A.D.D., the father of three sons on the autism spectrum as well as someone who lives on the autism spectrum himself. His books and seminars have garnered him worldwide attention for his innovative communication and relationship strategies.