Crying Cakes and Colleges
“L was broken up with today,” K told me on the phone. L is sixteen, a smart and savvy high school senior. We’d watched over the summer as she’d fallen in love for the first time and when her boyfriend moved back to his hometown with his family, we waited for the inevitable even as she swore they were staying together. When the call came, we drove over and ate carrot cake—now forever known as Crying Cake—while we talked L through her pain by recalling our own first heartbreaks and loves (the good, the bad, the embarrassing).
We met K & L at the pool where we all were every winter Saturday and Sunday, David and I splitting a lane while K & L swam their miles with L’s brother in the lane right next to us. Eventually we shared a lane, which lead to a meal, which lead to many meals which lead to essentially being taken in as honorary members of her family—her husband, her and her two teenage children.
I forgot how quickly the teen years go. One second it seemed like kids are, well, kids and the next second they’re asking your opinion on colleges and showing you spreadsheets of where they’ll be applying, asking for opinions. We’ve spent the last two months helping L with applications and portfolio editing (“The only thing you two fight about is art direction and desserts,” L quipped as we bickered over which of her photographs was better). We are bracing ourselves for her eventual departure almost as much as her parents are but excited to see her grow and glad to have helped with college selection and perfecting her recipe for Crying Cake.