This week, my friend J gave birth to a tiny human. I knew from prior experience that families with newborns appreciate not having to cook, on account of a tiny human demanding their constant attention. So I brought over quinoa salad and a version of B’s Chicken and Rice Casserole from early in the blogging days, and a pile of oranges, and went to visit the new little family.
I had somehow assumed their parents or siblings or someone would be there, or would have been there, but we actually arrived only 8 hours after the birth with the food for them, and no one else had met the little guy yet. It was an accidental honor: I just didn’t want them to starve, but instead the quiet, exhausted father E looked at us with great relief and led us into the bedroom, where J looked even more exhausted but happy, and a tiny sleepy person was nestled under the covers. I couldn’t believe it.
Perhaps most people have actually seen babies this young, this new to the world, but it was really overwhelming to me, as Husband found out when the rest of the evening I would randomly comment, “He was so small!” or “He was so soft-looking and pink!” I have spent time with J as she has grown that little guy inside herself, and now, he’s out! I am, needless to say, very impressed by pregnant women in general and J in particular.
It felt a little sacred, to be bringing a meal to new friends like that, to be included in such an intimate and important day as the birth of their son. We aren’t long-time friends of E and J, but I can feel us growing closer as we manage to be there for each other when the help is really useful. They, too, are not living in a town where they grew up and thus all family and long-term friends are elsewhere. Many of them will come this weekend to celebrate the birth, but by virtue of proximity, and the ability to make a mean casserole, we were inducted into a really amazing place in this little one’s life. He is no kin to me, but I already sorta want to protect him – friendship is powerful.
Anyway. No new recipes. But I’m starting to notice how food is bringing me opportunities to connect in ways I didn’t anticipate earlier this year. I appreciate its never-ending newness, even when the recipe itself is an old standard.