Seeking imperfection is a constant process. Sometimes, I take one step in the right direction and many steps the other way.
Recently, the kids wanted to bake their own cakes for a cake auction. The night before, three cakes became two cakes; the girls decided to work together.
My son prepared his boxed cake mix while the oven warmed up. I demonstrated how to hold an egg and a fork, and how to use the fork to crack the egg and use your thumbs to open the shell and put it in a bowl.
When I do it any other way, more egg gets outside of the pan or bowl than inside.
Giggling, he held the egg haphazardly and smacked it hard with the fork. Egg dripped from his forehead, onto the ground, and he dropped the shell into the bowl.
As I wiped his head with a towel and retrieved the shell, I told him I wasn’t happy that he was playing around instead of cooking. He apologized.
The girls split their egg duties. I demonstrated again. Both took it seriously, and one of the two ended up with egg dripping from her face.
I felt confused.
A few days later, I recounted the egg experience to a parent who had also supervised cake baking for the auction.
“You hold the egg, and you crack it with a fork,” I said, noticing that the other parent thought I might be speaking a foreign language.
“I guess there’s more than one way to crack an egg,” I added.
I was instantly reminded that I am left-handed and the kids are right-handed. I had demonstrated the right way for me, but the wrong way for them. I did this when teaching my oldest how to tie her shoes. After months of attempts, showing her the opposite way of how I tie mine yielded instant success.
There’s more than one way to crack an egg, and tie your shoes, and many things in life.