I’ve only recently become acquainted with the term ‘cake smash’, but apparently it is all the rage among one-year-olds at the moment.
The idea is that you set up a camera shoot to capture your one-year-old smashing through a lovely decorated cake. The photos then become a treasured keepsake, and the child remembers the joy of smashing up a cake for the rest of their lives. Or something like that.
So, as my wife and I are soon facing our little angel’s one year birthday, I had to learn about this trend, and then we pretty quickly agreed not to do one.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against those who have chosen to do a cake smash. Many of my friends have, and it does looks like fun. Perhaps for my 40th birthday I can organise one then.
I do however have an issue with wasting food, especially when the food is not necessarily meant to be eaten. Plus, if we were to do one, our child would probably devour the cake, and the world certainly does not need a little child like ours with a burst of sugar. Or, at least mum and dad don’t have enough patience to even consider our already energetic girl on royal icing and sponge cake.
And, frankly, we get the same effect every time we feed her these days, albeit with yogurt and Weet-Bix rather than cake.
Curiously thoughts of cake smashes came up today as I read an email from World Vision warning that east Africa is on the brink of the worst humanitarian disaster since World War II.
It started in April with a famine declared in parts of South Sudan. That means that people are already dying from starvation, and there are now severe food shortages in Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen.
Up to 25 million people are facing starvation from the deadly combination of poor crop yields, political crisis and civil war.
Think about that for a minute.
25 million people.
That’s more than five times the population of Singapore or Sydney, and more than the whole population of Australia.
That is entire families – men, women and children – who may die due to a lack of food.
Let that sink in for a moment.
For all out advances as a human race, we now have the population of entire countries facing the age-old killer of hunger. In our day and age.
This is outrageous.
And I’m guessing that you have probably only just heard about this. Heck, I only heard about it because I am still subscribed to a mailing list from a charity I supported in Singapore. In Australia we are cocooned away from this tragedy unfolding, and it seems that the local media has been choosing to cover other events.
And to be fair, we are also probably a little fatigued given the crises occurring in Syria, Europe and elsewhere, to actually pick out this event from the crowd. It is possible to be overwhelmed with all of the tragedy going on in the world, and even on our doorstep.
But…25 million people? How can we ignore that?
And I can’t, in good conscience, go ahead and plan for a rocking party for my one year old’s birthday, knowing that there are other one year olds that are facing starvation.
Forget cake smashes – there are kids in east Africa that will not have enough flour to make enough food to sustain themselves from day to day.
So, can I please urge you to read up on the crisis and donate to World Vision, Red Cross, Oxfam, Baptist World Aid, or any of the other organisations responding to this crisis. I am, and we will be urging the people attending our baby’s party too as well.
Because if, as a society, we can afford to do cake smashes, surely we can afford to save people from starvation.