Jackie Gingrich Cushman

This year, Gigi did indeed make the red velvet cake for Maggie’s birthday. She added a new twist by using a heart-shaped pan to symbolize her love for her granddaughter. But the larger pan, and my old oven, which tends to cook at whatever temperature it pleases, resulted in burned edges. Gigi solved that neatly: simply cutting the edges off and declaring it a fairy cake, telling us that the cake’s hard bottom should be left for the fairies to eat.

Simple resourcefulness, but it worked. Maggie was thrilled with her cake, the taste was wonderful and the fairies were left with a treat.

We often try to ensure that everything turns out perfectly, especially for our children. If we actually accomplish this task, what do we really teach our children -- to expect perfection and not be happy with less? While perfection is a worthy goal, we must keep in mind that it is a goal that is often missed. When challenges, obstacles or delays appear, it is best to gather ones’ resources, move on and adapt – maintaining the same end goal, but understanding that the process needed to get there might change.

The moral of this story is simple. It’s a reminder that not many things in life turn out perfectly, but if you are persistent and resourceful they will often turn out right, useful and memorable.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.