Yesterday afternoon my mother returned from her two-month visit with family in southern California. She called from a few minutes away, intending to drive straight to my house. I know she loves me and all, but she really loves my kids. Not to put too fine a point on it, but she is bat-shit crazy about them. When she called we were on our way out to the Deli for Nels’ birthday breakfast, so I asked if we could meet her there.
The sentiments are definitely returned: upon hearing she was in town the kids brushed their teeth in record time and bundled themselves into the car. We pulled up to the restaurant and my mom came outside; my kids and my mother snapped together like magnets, like gravitational pull itself. My mom had tears in her eyes and all through breakfast the children couldn’t stop beaming into her face and moving as close as she’d let them. I had to look away, it was oddly dazzling and crazy. I took pictures but the g-d camera card wasn’t loaded. It doesn’t matter, because we all hold these moments in our hearts.
My mother’s return established not only the immediate ebb and flow of dinner invitations, excited talk, and dates, but was kicked off with a breathless exchange of gifts – by “exchange” I mean, she had a lot of gifts for us. New toys, new clothes, gourmet chocolates, and – my favorite, of course – several yards of luscious barkcloth. I extended a dinner invitation for later in the evening (Nels’ home birthday dinner) and my son begged to stay at her house for the afternoon. Her arrival, the sunny weather, it was like a holiday. Oddly, living closer to my parents has made our time apart even richer. I am confident our move was a good thing in this regard.
Last night’s dinner preparations: Chinese cold asparagus salad, butter fried tofu, chickpea flour pizza, cucumber salad, and sticky rice with tamari, peanut sauce, and sweet chili sauce. In the morning I gave Nels a little questionaire regarding his cake: he got to choose the shape, flavor, and frosting (round, Devils’ Food, and chocolate, resp.). I baked the cake with Sophie and her friend Lily while Nels spent the afternoon with his grandma. The kids resumed their swimming lessons this evening (Nels after a hiatus of almost two years). And for dinner we had my mother as well as our friends Mickey and Jasmine over.
We hit the HQX Public Market today. The selection was so lovely I spent the remainder of my waitress earnings, allowing Nels to load a cardboard box with cut and live plants to give his grandma. I also bought two soaps (Garden Carrot and Honey) and lime body lotion from my friend Sara’s lovely repetoire, six tomato starts, and some trilliums for our living room.
Spring feels good.