Lamb Burgers and SchoolPosted: August 15, 2012
I was going to write about lamb burgers and homemade french fries, about tangy yogurt dappled with garden mint and the wonders of having a partner who will come home from work and set out to the grocery store to make me exactly what I want for dinner.
I was going to show you this picture, and I was probably going to gloat a bit.
I mean, it’s super gloat-worthy, amIright? And yes, it was as delicious as it looks. Deeeeeee-licious.
But instead I’m going to write about a warmly lit kitchen that smelled of pancakes this morning, about a sweet daycare teacher named Miss Alma who deftly ushered Maxine into her first day of school and sent me out the door with a sincere and steady gaze and the words You can call me any time.
I told Maxine countless times over the previous days that when we went to school I would give her a big hug, and a big kiss, and a big I-love-you and then I’d head off to work and she’d spend the day at her lovely new little school. I told her so she’d know, so her big new day would start with something, if not wholly familiar, then at least expected. I was telling her for her. And then, of course, I realized this morning that I’d been telling her for myself. I wanted so badly not to cry, so badly to show her with my body just how okay I knew she would be. But the tears came anyway, rivulets of mascara winding down my cheeks as I gulped my way through I-love-you and struggled to unwrap my arms from her body. I cried all the way out the door, all the way walking back towards the car while a fellow parent told me I had done a good job and that Miss Alma is wonderful and so is her school. I drove without thinking to the restaurant John and I both work in–drove towards a surefire hug and people who know just how precious Maxine is to us.
From the warm kitchen at Miss Alma’s school to the warm hugs of people who know my little family, steeped always in the smells of food being cooked to send people off into their days.
It was my first day back at work after vacation (I have the blessing of a boss who told me not to come back yesterday, who assured me it was more important to spend the day home with Maxine riding steam trains and reading books and eating cheese). I didn’t take a lunch break. Nothing was going to stop me from walking out of that door at 5:30 when John and Max came to pick me up for First Day of School Pizza Dinner.
A thousand kisses, all over her face. She squealed and squealed and squealed. She was happy and sticky and dirty and–somehow–older. She’d cried sporadically throughout the morning, and once demanded I WANT MY MOMMY AND MY DADDY RIGHT NOW, but after nap she woke up smiling and, when John arrived to take her home, she was eating oranges and apples with Miss Alma and a new friend.
I walked behind them up to pizza, taking in this little family of mine from a distance for a moment. We just brought her home from the hospital yesterday, it seems. And now she is running ahead, swishing her tutu and holding her dad’s hand to pull him towards pizza. First Day of School Pizza, no less.
We are suckers for her and she knows it. Yesterday and today we are hers completely, rapt and ready to shower her with any manifestation of our adoration that she invites.
Needless to say, that looked like a lot of milk bubbles at dinner. As many as she could blow, until her face was spattered and her hands smelled of soured milk by the time we got home.
Because it’s all just a bubble anyway, isn’t it? Blown blown blown with the hot air of our bodies and brains until POP we start anew, puffing ourselves up until the next generative burst.