You are 13 months old.
Mom is 44.
It snowed 12 inches two days ago. It’s the first snow you were awake for and got to play in.
I’m sure you know this by now, but Mom hates being cold. Freezing makes me feel alone and uncared for. I’ve lived in Florida and New Orleans to know hot weather is uncomfortable, too, but somehow warm weather does not give me the sense of urgent need to survive as much as cold weather does.
Mom loved going to UM - Ann Arbor for the freshman year, until Michigan winter hit. I remember crying out of misery walking to classes in subzero temperature and tears would just freeze on my face. I really loved Ann Arbor because that place represents such freedom to me, but I am glad I didn’t have to weather another Michigan winter since 1993.
At the last pediatrician’s appointment (your 1-year check up!), your doctor advised me to feed you milk instead of formula. I asked if I should heat up the milk and she said, “I wouldn’t, unless you want to be spending time heating up milk for a five-year-old. I would get him used to it now.”
At the first winter chill in the morning, I heat up your milk in a double broiler. I think the doctor meant well, but she doesn’t know I may want to heat up milk for you when you are five years old, too.
Every morning since, I’ve been feeding you hot breakfast. Steel cut oats with a pat of butter and drizzle of raw honey, fluffy scrambled (half an) egg, winter squash with parmesan… Even avocado gets a few minutes in coconut oil if it comes out of the refrigerator to take the chill off. Sometimes we eat rice and soup for breakfast like real Korean people.
Spending those extra minutes standing over the stove carrying you in one arm (you really like looking at what’s happening in the kitchen) makes me feel that I’m caring for you properly. Dad picks you up at 8 am, so feeding you breakfast is the only meaningful time I get to spend with you before you head out. By now you are so used to alternating days with us that you start happily waving good-bye to the remaining parent as we get you ready to head out the door. I’m so fortunate that I don’t have to rush these early mornings with you to get to the office or drop you off at a daycare before work. The hour or so of quality time with you in the morning makes coparenting bearable.
Snow day continued on today. Sunday we made Japanese curry. Today we made seaweed soup for lunch (you didn’t care for it) and pan-fried salmon for dinner. I think rice, salmon and fresh avocado served tonight, kind of a deconstructed maki, has been your favorite meal to date. You signed “more” consistently and ate almost all of the salmon and a whole avocado that way.
Your eyes lit up when mom built a perfect bite of all three elements, so dinner took a while longer. But where else would we need to go on a night like tonight, snow covering everything out the window and reflecting moonlight as if we are in a fairy tale? We’ve had a perfect day of cooking, napping and warming up milk to stay cozy. Life is simply beautiful and you make it so.
Good night, sleepy head.