When Oliver and I first got married, we very quickly settled into certain jobs. Because of his military career, they pretty much all fall into my lap at some point, but when he's home, there are things he takes care of and things I never relinquish. Cooking is definitely one of those. Him making dinner either involves detailed instructions for a very simple recipe, spaghetti and premade sauce, or take out. So when we started planning for our youngest's upcoming birthday, it surprised me when he asked me to bake a cake so he could practice carving it.
It turns out Oliver is a pretty good cake carver. I baked a cake from scratch, made frosting to glue it all together, then handed it over to him. He took one of our son's Lightning McQueen cars as a guide, and whipped out an amazingly realistic form. I'm a little better with a pastry bag so I took the lead on the decorations, but he had some good ideas and helped me design the final look. In the end, our son was ecstatic, and I discovered we make a pretty good team when it comes to creative cakes.
This whole cake experience has given me some food for thought when it comes to marriage. I think the best thing about our marriage is that while we both have things we do well and things we don't, when we mesh them together we discover we can produce in ways we could not have done alone. That cake was not going to be 3D if it had been left up to me. A good tasting cake and frosting I can do; I can even manage to color and decorate something with reasonable skill. But carving? Really not my thing.
Oliver, however, has this creative streak that is always surprising me. When he was going to sea, I looked forward to the drawings he'd send home as much as the actual words in his letters. They said so much more about what he was thinking and feeling than the words themselves. I'm the opposite; words are how I express myself best. Artwork never gets past the doodle-in-circles stage.
When we brought our strengths together, we came up with a pretty awesome cake. I have seen this kind of thing happen over and over again in the seven years we've been hitched. I think the real strength of our marriage is not that we each have things we are good at, but that we can admit there are things we don't do well. That humbleness has allowed us to ask each other for help and guidance, and truly great things have often been the result.
Like a bright red cartoon car cake that made a three year old's day.
Ana is a restless soul who would love to keep moving around the world the rest of her life. This is probably why she married a submariner in the U.S Navy seven years ago. They have two energetic little boys, and currently live in the Bahamas. She blogs about life in paradise at Sunrise on the Water.
Pic taken by Ana.