Tuesday, December 15, 2009


My mom and my uncle Frank were in town this weekend, which was wonderful for many reasons, including getting to hear the story of how I was born with hair on my shoulders. "We're going to have a gorilla baby," Rob said. "She was more like a bear," my uncle said.

We went to a holiday party at a neighbor's house on Saturday night. My mother--the semi-retired kindergarten teacher--immediately found the playroom where all the kids were hanging out, and fell upon them and their toys. "This is Gideon," she told me when I peeked in. "And this is Max. We don't know this little girl's name, but I think she speaks French. Bonjour!" She handed me her wine, so that she could help Max figure out how to work the little electronic guitar he had presented her with. He lost interest in it soon after that and tried on the other kids' shoes instead.

Later, as we all sat on the couch in front of trays of shrimp and cocktail sausages, a three-year-old wandered up and started to bite little pieces of sausage and put them back in the tray. He then buried a shrimp in the cocktail sauce and proceeded to smear ketchup all over the crackers he was licking and placing back in their dish. He walked up to me with a little sausage in his hand and put it in my mouth. I was too surprised to protest, so I delicately removed it, thanked him, and wadded it up in a napkin. "I can't believe you let him do that," said my mother, who earlier that day had put a stevia leaf from Golden Gate Park into her own mouth. "Please don't eat the plants," I said at the time.

It seems that although there were plenty of adults present, and it was quite a nice party, I am preoccupied with thoughts of children these days, and it's their antics that stayed with me. "Our daughter will never be allowed to behave that way at a party," Rob said later of the sausage prince.

It was fun to have company in the house, and people to cook with. Frank and my mom made tilapia with peppers, onions and lime one evening, and we made squash soup and pizza for another meal. We went out for an Italian dinner in North Beach and a Vietnamese dinner at one of our favorite restaurants on the water, overlooking the Bay Bridge, so bright and accessible it looked like a Christmas decoration.

They brought gifts for the baby: a pair of overalls from Mom, a tie-dyed onesie from my Aunt Cathy, a set of 5--yes 5--colorful socks from Frank. And in thanks, the baby kicked for them. My mom sat next to me on the couch, her hand on my stomach before her cab arrived. "She's in there right now," she said. "Working on growing her shoulder hair."

1 comment:

Krista said...

I love the thought of you and your shoulder hair. It's a great image. Your mom is the best!