Four years ago today despite the onset of faint contractions I’d taken a lovely, deep nap in the sunlight of my living room, waking as peacefully as I ever had. Deep in my bones this brief sleep felt like a ritual, a final act as mother to one child – before embarking on the New Adventure. I’ve heard it said any time you add a child to the family it’s as momentous as the first child’s addition. I knew this to be true that afternoon and time has not proven me wrong.
The family we dined with the afternoon I went into labor with Nels just left this morning – my friend Abbi and her two daughters who decided impulsively to take a trip and ended up staying three days and two nights (yay!). We spent a very active and rather foodie weekend cooking, playing, visiting the sights (including the farmer’s market, our fruit and veggie stand, the carniceria, our Salvadorian restaurant, and a local creamery), swimming, recovering (by napping – which saved my body and mind), cooking some more (raw milk cheese! strawberry rhubarb pie! roasted jalapenos!), and sharing gardening hopes, seeds, and starts (the Hogaclan being by far the primary beneficiary on the starts).
About thirty minutes after our guests leave we find ourselves at my parents’, serving up the pie I’d made the night before. My daughter suddenly exclaims in proud surprise, “I lost my tooth!” and reveals to us a bloody gap. A small flurry of excitement; my mother and grandfather in tears as they say to one another, “I wish Jean [my grandmother] were here.” Sophie’s sweet voice develops a slight lisp; now in talking her full upper lip catches a bit on the void her upper tooth left behind. She tells me later with cool confidence, “It fell into my sleeve.”
This evening I knead the dough for treat I’m bringing Nels’ class tomorrow (his birthday as well as his last day before moving up to the older class which he repeatedly points out, “Is full of new girls!”) while he sits at the table, licking the mixer paddles. I am tired but breadmaking is one of my favorite things to do. “This dough is so nice…” I tell my husband, pleased at the soft, springy, smoothness that warm milk, egg, and butter affords (this particular confection contains chocolate and brown sugar, too!) and Nels adds, “Uh-huh!” enthusiastically, busy wiping his fingers and nodding. I lean in and kiss him for being who he is, my golden child who shares my love of cooking (ingredients he’s chosen for us over the last week: cauliflower, cantelope, and a special red sea salt) and is forever coming up with the most imaginative games (tonight he was a pie bird and required I pantomime the preparation of a pie using his body).
The rest of the family enjoys the fireside and the warmth, contentment at the end of our Spring Break.