Sunday, January 8, 2017

Georgia on my mind

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I resolved two things a week ago: Write and walk. The handy step-tracker on my phone reveals that I haven’t taken “walk” very seriously so far in 2017 (I scored a “.33 miles” today but we had one of our family-favorite Lazy Days, kept inside by single-digit temps and the slog that is the end of The O.C.’s third season).

Since I haven’t been walking, this is me attempting to honor the other half of my 2017 goal list. It has been quiet on this blog for some time, the time it might take for a person to be born, learn to eat, walk, sleep alone, talk, and open the fridge to look for a snack. This blog is so disconnected from the person I was when I wrote it years (literally years) ago, and admittedly, like anyone confronted with their past self, I find it sloppy and juvenile. (I’m eternally thankful that Facebook did not exist during my high school years.) I thought about taking it down or starting in a new place, but I get a lot of texts from my sister about the Authentic Self and some of it must be sinking in.

This blog  started as my attempt to “join the conversation”—a phrase learned from my favorite and only young smart lovely woman English-professor in college. The conversation at the time was about what food we eat and the places we go.  Which, interestingly, are the two main focuses of most of my conversations with Georgia. “What we eat?”and “Where we go?”: two of her biggest concerns. My blog hiatus started with Georgia’s birth—when everything felt so intimate and so confusing. I didn’t know how to capture the positives of what I was feelings or the negatives—that she was so lovely and perfect and that I had changed my life to be home with her and I didn’t feel like I was any good at it. I journaled some, when my brain could put words in sequence. Other blog-kades (see what I did there?) include her right to privacy and whether a teenager might not want stories about her hilarious toddler antics on the internet. I’m still wrestling with that, but a private Instagram account isn’t fulfilling my inclination to output.

As it turns out, my life now revolves more around food than ever. As a homemaker (a term I prefer to “stay at home mom” because I think it better represents my goals and agency), I shop for, cook, clean up after, plan about, and teach food. Besides our favorite local bodega, we frequent four grocery stores and two farmers’ markets regularly. I am a creature of favorites and I just can’t settle for not-the-right-kind-of mustard. Or pickles. Or yogurt. Basically anything. Bread, potatoes, prosciutto, chicken, crackers, you name it. I like the one I like. And I’m willing to devote the time to procuring it. And I have the time. Or, we do. Georgia and me.

As I said, she loves to go places. And she loves to eat. And talk about food. She sits on the counter and she plays on the kitchen floor. She is underfoot and touching stuff and in the way and knocking things down. She eats chopped vegetables (except onion which is too spicy or “fispy” and she “doesn’t like raw”) and grated cheese off my cutting board and hands me eggs. She asks why I’m washing the dishes. She tastes salt, oregano, and nutmeg. She yells “Let’s go to the SAMPLE SECTION!” the minute we pass through Trader Joe’s double doors. She lists all the foods she “learned to eat when Georgia was a little baby” before bed and randomly exclaims “Let’s talk about Fanksgibing!” months after the fact.

This afternoon while awaiting Marissa Cooper’s inevitable demise (#spoileralert) and preparing to enjoy the rise of Taylor Townsend, we broke into a bag of gummies. After picking the one she wanted she spent the next ten minutes pushing them on us, “Poppy want a yelwa? That's a good one.” She chorused encouraging “mmmhmms” as we accepted her recommendations, enjoying in our enjoyment. She is an Eater. She is my eater. And I can’t write about food or my life without her.

Georgia is now clad in Christmas jammies and blue polka dot socks, talking to Alex in the living room as they complete the steps to our bedtime routine—a well-honed procedure of exacted timing executed every evening that puts her asleep in bed promptly at 6:30 so the grown ups can… watch more of The O.C. But not have to share our snacks.


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