Cupcake by Design EXPLODES with Flavor This Fourth of July

Posted by: on June 26, 2012

For many years I had a love-hate relationship with
Independence Day.

As a child I loved the beach, the lemonade, the festive Fourth of July parades.  I hated the fireworks.  Don’t get me wrong, I thrilled at the spectacle of the rocket’s red glare.  It
wasn’t the thunderous boom of pyrotechnics in the hands of professionals that
frightened me. It was what happened afterward when Dad, Uncle Mike, and Cousin
Tim set off their own amateur explosives and dotted the landscape with
literally thousands of snap, crackle, popping sparklers. Something about having
all that fiery stimulation close at hand (and despite protest, actually IN my
hand!)  set me up for a lifetime of July 4th dread.

Fast forward to my teens. I learned to hide my sparklerphobia behind a façade of coolness.
And that coolness paid off when I caught the eye of a popular boy at a
patriotic parade. For the next three years he called me “babe” … except for
every July fourth weekend when he broke my heart right before his family
camping trip. Three more holidays spent at small town parades, and a yard full
of Dad-Uncle-Cousin chaos.  (Yes, I took babe-boy back upon his return each time.
Seems obvious now, but I was young and foolish back then.)

Move the clock further ahead to my college job at a hospital. Despite requesting
vacation time, somehow I always ended up working late on the independence holiday. I’m sure my friends meant well
when they said they’d “wait” to see bombs bursting in air…  but I could never find them in the
crowd.  So I headed home to Dad, Uncle Mike and Cousin Tim’s timeless fiery display. And reluctantly participated,
sparkler in hand.

As I raise my own children, I’ve been very intentional about teaching my family the
importance of the freedoms we enjoy in this country.   And I’ve tried to put a new, hopefully
happier and safer, spin on the many things that make this holiday special.  We gather up all the people we can find
(because, ironically, nobody should be alone on independence day) and we go see
the fireworks. But the post-firework folly of my childhood has given way to
sweeter things – like a parade of cupcakes in
patriotic colors from Cupcake by Design in Grand Rapids. Each decadent
chocolate and vanilla bean ‘cake explodes with flavor and has everyone saying
“ooooh, aaaah.” And the swirls of buttercream frosting are more exhilarating
than sulfur on a stick.  I am proud to say I’ve conquered my July fourth
phobia (I do allow a few sparklers) thanks in part to the freedom to enjoy
great fourth of July cupcakes from Cupcake by Design.

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