“Oh no,” she said, as she turned to look at her six-year old and his friends eating the birthday cake she had just served.
Many of them were already moving in on seconds; their eager little hands stuffing huge bites of cake into their mouths. She watched as one child brushed off crumbs from his pants onto the floor, making room on his lap for more fallen morsels. This was nothing, the greed would really kick in as soon as the cake took effect.
She looked down at the two jars in front of her.
It was a mistake that could have happened to anyone, she thought. But it didn’t make her feel any better.
This wasn’t simply a salt-instead-of-sugar mishap, this was a much more drastic mistake.
She sighed as she put the full Sugar jar back into the pantry, deeply regretting having taken down the other jar this morning.
She had simply wanted to show her son the lifetime of hopes and dreams that she had painstakingly gathered – grain by grain – since she was six-years old. She wanted to inspire him by the sight of that remarkable effort collected into the now-empty jar in front of her.
The doorbell had surprised them, a guest arriving two hours too soon. In the rush of getting the door and setting everything up for the party, she forgot to put her dreams away. And now, a cake was made.
She turned and looked at the boys. There wasn’t much she could do at this point. The deed was done, the path towards unintended consequences already unfolding.
“How’s the cake, honey?” she asked.
“It’s good,” her son replied.
Of course it is, she thought as she watched a party full of six year-olds greedily gobble up her dreams.
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