We eat sweet ataulfo mango scored into cubes and eaten right from the peel with our fingers, the sticky juice getting everywhere. Bean runs round and round the coffee table coming back each time for more, his cheeks flecked with the yellow fruit. Weâ€™re both grinning. The sun hits the back of my neck and makes the leather of the couch warm to the touch. The cats are sitting on the windowsill soaking up the sunâ€™s heat, and when we go out onto the porch for a moment I hear birdsâ€”not just the house finches and chickadees that have kept us company all winter, but early song birds that I cannot yet name by call alone.
The lowers DH brought home a few days ago for me, still blooming: hot magenta, lemon and golden petals filling the room with delicate fragrance. Breakfast is my favorite meal and this week weâ€™ve been gathering around the island in the kitchen, the three of us eating mouthfuls of warm buttered toast, fresh plums, yogurt, coffee. Even though Bean was up so much last night I heard myself say to DH, â€œI canâ€™t wait for the night to be over,â€ at around 2:30 a.m., this start to the day somehow redeems it. The tiredness temporarily wiped away by the fact that Iâ€™m here with my guys in the kitchen, DH and I swapping small talk and smiles while Bean kicks his highchair and practices using a fork.
By late morning I sink gratefully into clean sheets (I love the way they feel, newly laundered), and nap hard with Bean nudged into the nook of my arm. When he wakes me two hours later, I canâ€™t figure out where I am. The house, the bedroom, everything is utterly unfamiliar for a minute as my brain untangles itself from the terrain of my dream.
It is one of those days of family meals, and I love this. I make tofu with sesame seeds and almonds, sautÃ©ed sugar snap peas, rice pilaf, and while Iâ€™m cooking DH and Bean take a walk down the block. I catch them with my camera on their return, and Bean sees me from half a block away and grins as wide as a melon wedge when he runs into my arms.
Later we go to the park, snow still on the ground, and I watch in wonderment as my baby is suddenly a kid. Independent. Exploring. Picking up woodchips and throwing them with glee, then taking my hand and climbing the stairs to the slide where we go down together over and over again. On the way back I look for more evidence of spring: and find sap making buds knobby and big on twigs, and former icy patches into puddles reflecting sky.
When we get home I finally make it: the perfect chai masala. Steamed milk, good sugar, and this tea.