Monday, April 23, 2018

Birth, weddings, death, and all the glories of life

A welcome visitor in the cottage tonight
even if he didn't talk much

One of the most engaging videos I’ve seen lately: Prince William bringing his children to the hospital to meet their baby brother. Love it that he drives himself and the children around London—no driver, no nanny, just daddy. Princess Charlotte was charming, waving at the crowd, while Prince George was a little more solemn. And not long after, William and Kate appeared carrying the as-yet unnamed baby. She looked smashing, considering she gave birth just hours before. And to send mother and baby home so soon—one supposes she has lots of help at home. Still, Kate strikes me as a hands-on mother, one who wants to do those middle of the night feedings herself. I wish them much joy with this new baby.

I am a big fan of the royal family. Barring that episode of Charles and Diana, for which we will not cast blame, they conduct themselves with grace, dignity, and a concern for others. Lord knows w e need such examples in our lives these days.

And sad but not surprising news that George H. W Bush is back in the hospital. I suspect he held on to get through Barbara’s funeral, but all the starch has left him with her death. I fear we’ll have a state funeral before long. Prayers for your peace, sir, from this lifelong Democrat.

Yesterday I went to a lovely dinner party and stayed so late I myself had no starch for blogging when I got home. The Burtons and I joined neighbors Dennis and Margaret Johnson to honor Sue and Teddy and their upcoming wedding. We dined at the Johnsons’ house. They are consummate hosts, and everything was lovely. The meal was a collaboration, and my compliments to Margaret and Jordan who, together, recreated one of my favorite recipes: a leg of lamb set on a cake rack over a vegetable gratin so that the lamb juices drip down into the vegetables. It’s a bit labor intensive, as you baste the lamb every twenty minutes. I made smoked salmon tartare for an appetizer, and Jordan made tossed salad, while Margaret did asparagus. A lovely meal.

The best part about it was the dinner-table conversation We talked about ideas and concepts and such, not just who did what. I relish good conversation and regret that I get it too infrequently. We all seemed wrapped up in “So what did you do this weekend,” and not the stuff that makes the world go around—or that you fear will stop it. Two of us at dinner last night are adoptive parents, and that was a big topic, with Jordan coming in for many questions. When asked when she knew she was adopted, she said, “I always knew.” I pointed out that all her siblings knew where babies came from—the adoption agency—because they were veterans of trips to bring home another baby. Lovely evening with people I’m really fond of.

Yesterday also marked the beginnings of my adventures with adoption and children. It was, gulp, Colin David’s 49th birthday. Of course, I didn’t know it at the time—he was eight days old before I met him. Neither did I know or understand how much adoption and children would change the course of my life. But, for me, it was a monumental turning point. I never thought much about children until I had them, and then they became the focus of my life. I always say I’m a mother first and then an author and publisher.

I worried a lot about Colin, because he bore the brunt of all I didn’t know about raising babies. But he survived nicely to become a settled, happy adult, a dedicated family man, a religious man, and a professional—CPA. He is often the rock upon which I rely. He seems to have overcome my blundering into parenthood with grace, and I could not love him more nor be prouder of him.

Stories of that day 50 years ago abound, but they will have to wait for that memoir I’m threatening to write about motherhood, adoption, and being a single parent.

Now I’m going to prowl through not one but two cooking magazines that arrived today. Such bounty.

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