Friday, 30 December 2011

Getting back in the game

It's been awhile. Motherhood, it turns out, has a way of filling up every nook and cranny of my day with nursing, playing, diaper changing, singing, rocking, spit-up mopping, tickling and bouncing. But I'm back now, and I really missed writing. The only thing I've written in the last couple of months is a letter to the editor of a local paper because I was immensely peeved over a very badly written article about my workplace.

My sweet baby boy is growing in leaps and bounds. Every day there is a different facial expression, a new sound, a more focused grip or a steadier balance. He is almost ready to start laughing; he opens his mouth up wide and makes all the motions like a big squeal of delight is going to burst forth, but all that comes out is a little puff of air. It's the cutest thing.

I'm really looking forward to New Years. I need some quiet. The bustle of Christmas was fun, but now I find myself craving slow evenings nestled on the couch with tea and Netflix (currently on a Weeds kick), watching my son's great awe as he plays wih his new toys and learns the wondrous amazement of all things shiny and noisy.

This was my first year hosting Christmas. My mom cooked the turkey and brought it over, and I handles the rest. I made sangria (so difficult not to down a whole pitcher of that stuff), mashed and candied potatoes, roasted carrots and parsnips, arugala-pomegranate-goat cheese salad, bread stuffing, pork stuffing, cranberry sauce, bacon-fried brussels sprouts and challah bread. I made butter at the last minute just for fun ( and it tastes way better than store-bought), and I was totally tickled by how surprised my grandmother was. I assumed she had done this many times before- beat cream until it separated into butter and whey, squeezed the liquid whey out and voila- but apparently she hadn't, and that gave me a feeling like maybe I'm on the right path here. It was a perfect meal, and I don't mean the food. The food was good but I have a long way to go to measure up to the elder women in my family. It was perfect because it was all about family, the most simple and joyous coming together. The plates and cutlery didn't match, the salad dressing was served in a single-cup coffee press, and we ripped the bread off in chunks. We drank from fancy martini glasses and used paper towel napkins. We squished together around our antique dining table and I loved that all of my chairs were in use at the same time. I loved that nothing matched. I loved feeding the women who taught me how to cook. I was grateful that I made a promise to myself not to be stressed that day; that no matter how good or bad my food turned out, no matter how clean or messy the house was when people arrived, no matter how cooperative or cranky the baby was that day- there was no point to any of this if I allowed it to stress me out. So the apple pie didn't get made, and the snugly carrier got pulled out so I could cook and carry my little one like a kangaroo at the same time, and I made sure to sit down and have a glass of sangria (okay three).

And now that it's over, my thoughts are turning to New Year's resolutions, the slow but oh-so welcome return of daylight, and plans for next year's garden. Raised beds this time. And don't start the broccoli so early.

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