There was a time in my life when I could not fall asleep unless the egg beaters were running, I must have been eight or nine. My house was old and small. My tiny bedroom was adjacent to the kitchen, separated only by a curtain. To complement the family income, my mom baked cakes nonstop, sometimes twenty a day. As I lay in bed, I could hear the sound of the metal spatulas from the handheld general electric machine rattling against the glass bowl, and I could tell when the merengue had peaked just by the sound of the beaters as they twirled, incorporating air into the mixture of egg whites and sugar. Vanilla, macaroons drizzled with caramel, cinnamon, chocolate, and coconut...these were the scents that permeated the entire house, permanently infusing my mom’s soft skin with sweetness. The sounds and aromas comforted me. Without them the house was quiet, cold, dark, and scary. Today, I no longer need the sound of the egg beaters lulling me to sleep, although the scent of a vanilla cake baking in my own oven never fails to evoke memories. I realize that back then, it was not the noise that comforted me. It was my mom’s presence, her pacing around the kitchen that gave me peace at night. She will be 94 this year, and i love her dearly.