Day 98: You make my heart sing

This week Austria opened its border to tourists so we’ve decided to take a road trip to the Alps. In a mountain cabin we’ll still be socially distant, just the four of us, but with a welcomed change of scenery.

It should be interesting to see how things have changed outside our own area as a result of everything. Our entire area is Corona free for now. We have a lot of precautions in place to keep it that way, masks and distance obviously, but also all sports that take place indoors are not allowed to last longer than 60 minutes and the numbers of participants are very limited relative to space. It seems that finally the rain (literally and metaphorically) has ended and the outlook is mostly sunny.

Today was mostly a chaos of packing, visiting with Oma, and other typical last minute details–Important things like eating all the ice cream in the freezer before we go.

The girls seemed to be a living manifestation of the chaotic feelings. Little Bean refused her nap because Oma was here and by dinner time she had melted into a disaster that reminded me of a scoop of ice cream fallen on the hot sidewalk in summer. Big Sister was up to her own trouble making ways, like running over Little Bean on the slide at the playground or stealing something right out of her hand and then saying, Well, I want a turn to look at it too.

At the dinner table Big Sister asked me about what kind of doctor people go to when they have trouble having a baby. What does that doctor do? She started. How do they actually help them to have a baby? Like what do they do? Then she translated her questions so that Oma would understand the conversation.

For a moment I thought about the two butterflies we saw having a fling in our garden. She noticed that they had their wings together but I pointed out that they had their hind quarters together as well. We’ve seen the male lizards chase the females and we also saw the local storks working on it in the nest earlier this spring.

I always imagined that the birds and the bees would be a big secret special chat between us but I’m starting to think it will actually be more about the birds and the bees and I’m not sure it needs to be so private after all. Reproduction really is natural part of life for every species of animal and insect. Maybe we are going to end up talking about it as part of the dinner conversation or maybe a snack time chat. I don’t mean I want her to think the whole thing is casual (since I just spent nearly 100 days writing about the challenges of moving back into a normal life after having babies) but I also don’t want it to be something awkward or something to be embarrassed or secretive about either.

So tonight I explained IVF to her in very vague terms. She seemed satisfied and then (luckily) we were interrupted by a skype call from America.

The call was from my sister, the purpose of the call a Franconian cooking question about the recipe for Wirsing. Typically we don’t use the telephone during dinner. But we had finished eating and I was tickled to be sitting across from the Franconian cooking expert herself at that very moment. Jola explained the recipe, and I translated her words into English for my sister. She was able to warn her about pitfalls and give her personal advice. At the end they spoke to each other as best they could. My sister thanked her and Jola said, Ruf mich an wenn du eine Frage hast. (Just call me if you have a question.) And she really meant it. So, tonight some of my favorite people are eating a meal that tastes just a little bit like Franconia. This is the kind of international meeting of the minds that makes my heart sing.

Jola’s wirsing

If you’re interested in the recipe it’s down below. Until tomorrow,

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