Yesterday, we celebrated the fact that Danny was born. Boy, am I grateful for that. He turned 44 yesterday.
44 was a good year for me. It’s the year our cookbook came out, the year that we traveled around the country and met so many of you, the year I felt fully settled into my 40s and here. And Danny? Well, the year he turns 44, our second cookbook comes out (next April). Maybe it’s the year of our second child as well.
With Lu’s birthday last weekend, Danny’s yesterday, and mine in a couple of weeks, we have celebrations all in a row. About six months ago, we were hoping that maybe the adoption process would give us another birthday to make the summer celebrations even more joyful. We’re still waiting.
Adoption is an incredible process. Thoughtful, conscious, and exhausting. I have never filled out so many forms, had so many medical tests, or answered so many questions. Danny and I both believe that’s right — every child deserves a good home, fully vetted. But I’m telling you — if every set of parents had to go through this before having a child? We wouldn’t have a population problem on this planet.
We haven’t written much about the adoption here. That feels right, for a number of reasons. It’s a profound process. A private process, not meant to be shared with the internet, I believe. Maybe we’ll share more after the baby is settled in our home.
But the hope of a newborn baby, a sister or brother for Lucy, flavors every part of our days around here.
Yesterday, however, we celebrated the three of us, as well as Danny’s birthday. The morning began on the back deck, with whole-grain almond waffles, homemade tayberry preserves, and maple syrup. Big cups of coffee for me and Danny, a glass of milk for Lu. That’s how we celebrate together — at the table.
We drove up to Mt. Rainier, where Lu and Danny had never been before. As we walked slowly amid the wildflowers and snowfields to a waterfall — Lu’s first real hike, so we stopped often — we both relished the fact that we had absolutely no cell phone service. No one could reach us. We just stood under that enormous mountain and felt properly small again.
We had packed a picnic and sat under tall trees to eat together. Prosciutto, cheese, cherries, and a jar of jelly beans as a special treat.
At the end of the evening, we ended up at Delancey. Wood-fired fennel with hard goat cheese and Meyer lemons. A red-leaf lettuce salad with roasted tomatoes and applewood-smoked bacon. A pizza for Danny and Lu. (“I’m eating pizza, Mama, so I can’t kiss you for the gluten. But I can kiss your cheek!”) Pavlova with raspberries. It was a very good day.
I kissed Danny often yesterday. I’m so glad he’s here.
And who knows? Maybe by this day next year, someone else will be here with us, sharing food at that table. We sure hope so.