Just like everyone else, I have my good days and I have those days that feel like no matter what I do, everything seems difficult and daunting. I try to maintain perspective and a positive outlook, but sometimes I can’t help but look around me and feel like I’m standing in the middle of the wrong movie set.
Over the years, I have learned how to cope and how to re-group. I do yoga. I try to exercise. I drink Diet Coke (it does wonders). I eat ice cream. I try to keep my sense of humor.
Last week, one of my friends sent me this article about how baking for other people offers so much to the baker as well as to the recipients of the baked goods. It arrived at the perfect moment, just as I was about to beat myself up for not doing more or being better. My to-do list was so long it was wrapping onto the next page in my book, and I had been sitting in my office the entire day, feeling ineffective. I had lost sight of what I am doing and why, and the article reminded me how lucky I am to be able to bake for others as a career. It made me realize that I actually feel better when I go through the ritual of putting on my baseball hat, twisting my hair into a bun, tying on an apron and walking out into the kitchen.
The same day that my friend shared the article with me, I received an call from a customer. I have mentioned before how much I appreciate receiving emails and phone calls from my customers. They are gifts that feed me and keep me moving forward. This particular call was from a mother of a young boy named Kane who has had multiple heart surgeries. Kane is on a special diet to make sure he gets enough protein. He is allowed to bring one treat a day to school, and guess what he brings? Our linzer heart cookies.
Sniff. You had me at heart surgeries.
Kane loves the cookies, but isn’t a fan of the almond border. He peels off the almond part (clearly an intelligent child) and enjoys his one treat. His mom called to see if there was a way that we could make the linzer hearts for her son without the almond border.
A small request from a mom trying to do something nice for her son. A gift for him, and unbeknownst to her, for me as well. Why? Because it allowed me to do what I love to do – to help someone else by making their day a little bit brighter and sweeter. It gave the bakers the opportunity to make a new variation of our heart cookies. Hearing the story behind these cookies made each of us feel good, from the bakers to the packagers. The cookies quickly became known as ‘Kane’s cookies’, and they are shipping out tomorrow.
I brought some of Kane’s cookies home with me so I could take a picture of them for this post. Before long, my willpower caved and I found myself sitting in our dining room, slowly nibbling on the cookie. It’s a simple affair sandwiching raspberry jam between two butter cookie hearts. Simple, yet magical. The raspberry jam softened the cookies, making them more cake-like than cookie-like. I savored every part of the experience, from the phone call to eating the cookie to being able to share this story with you.
Many thanks to Kane’s mom for taking the time to call and for giving everyone at Bisousweet the opportunity to remember why we do what we do. Thank you for the gift of perspective and for helping us see that something as small as a cookie can really make a difference.
With gratitude –