This morning, Lu woke up sweetly, smiling at us wide. (And at 7:00 in the morning, instead of 6, thank you.) She cuddled into our bed, asking for us to read books to her, one after the other. Danny and I took turns, warm under the white blanket, reading her Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, Owl Babies, and Best Friends for Frances, among others. She listened intently, happy to be between us. The sun came through the windows and I felt at peace in the world.
Downstairs, she spun around the room in her pink nightgown. Normally, she asks for Shipoopi right away, so we can start the day with dancing. Today, however, she asked if we could play the grocery game. She’s madly in love with this simple card game for kids. We consult our grocery list, with pictures so she can associate letters with favorite foods, and pick out the squares to put them in our shopping baskets. She gobbles up the watermelon every time.
We’ve played enough that she has every list memorized, of course. So this morning, we moved onto a new game. “Mama, you pick the foods you want to put together. We’ll put them in a pot and cook them. It will be our recipe!” I laughed out loud, happy to help her move chicken, broccoli, and rice into the pot filled with raspberry candy. First thing in the morning, she’s thinking recipes.
That’s our kid.
Later, over breakfast, we asked her about her day. She talked about what might happen. And then she turned to me and said, “How’s the cookbook, Mama?”
She knew. Today’s publication day. Our cookbook, Gluten-Free Girl Every Day, is born into the world today.
As I wrote about last week, bringing out a cookbook can be a potent time. There are so many hopes and fears. There has been a bit of tumult inside me lately, following a tough winter, our car being stolen, and a thousand emails that must be written now. It’s not a surprise this time. This is my third book. With my first book, I honestly thought I was going to get on the Oprah show. (Oprah would love me!) Now, Oprah doesn’t interview authors anymore and her original show is gone. This time, I watch all those hopes and fears rise up and try to let them go.
I’m lucky. So lucky. And every morning this week, I’ve been walking in the sun and rain, listening to Pema Chodron talk about getting unstuck. She’s so sane, so funny, and so grounding. Those 45 minutes with her in my ear and cherry trees in bloom above my head as I walk are keeping me breathing these days.
So is Danny, of course. I don’t how that man is so naturally sane but I’m so damned grateful for it. He knows how to calm me with a hand on the shoulder and a few words in my ear.
Yesterday, Lucy and I were on the front porch, in the sunlight. I was showing her how to flip her little plastic egg in her little green skillet, without a spatula. We were about to move to the trampoline to jump together. She asked if I’d do a certain trick on the trampoline when we moved over there to jump. I told her that, sadly, my back wouldn’t let me do it. She asked me why. So, lightly, I told her about the terrible car accident I had in 2003, how the green car was smashed, how lucky Mama is to be alive.
She thought for a moment and said, “And now you’re here, teaching your kid how to flip an egg.”
Yes, my love. Yes.
That kid keeps me here too. Before she was born, I believed that people are essentially good. After having Lucy in my life, I know it.
So, our cookbook is out. The hopes and fears can stop now. It just is.
We hope you might buy it. We hope you cook from it. We hope you tell your friends and family, through Facebook, emails, Twitter, postcards, Google+, text messages, Amazon reviews, telephone calls, photos on Instagram, and mostly in conversations at the kitchen table with people you love.
We’re very much looking forward to meeting some of you soon. Check out the beginning of our book tour page — Seattle, Portland, and New York — which we will be filling in as we go. We’re launching something next week that, fingers crossed, might bring us to meet more of you in this country.
But for now, I’m going to stop talking about the book for awhile. It’s yours, not ours anymore. Enjoy.