I couldn’t remember what day we were on so I almost wrote Day 87 but then I checked and it’s only Day 69. There’s so much vacillation between feeling like we’re running out of time and feeling like we’ve been doing this for 100 years. Anyway…
Today we held an adults-only ice-cream taste test during nap time. There were three contenders, Dark chocolate cookie dough, Dark chocolate raspberry swirl and Dark chocolate peanut-butter chunk. I was prepared for the peanut-butter chunk to win hands down, and certain bites did taste like a peanut butter cup– but it missed the mark because the peanut-butter chunks were just slightly too firm. Jeni’s cookie dough recipe is so good that you could probably eat it plain and it would still be better than almost every cookie you’ve ever eaten in your life. In this case I thought the cookie dough actually upstaged the chocolate ice-cream. The raspberry swirl was the surprise winner for me. The ice-cream so dark and fudgy, the swirl of tart raspberry perfectly offsetting the sweet. The combination was effortless and elegant and also looked really pretty in the scoop.
It was all pretty unbelievable. It would be really hard to mess this flavor up.
This afternoon we sat outside under a blanket watching the rain fall and listening to the call of the Cuckoo bird. Little Bean almost always says that she hears an owl and then Big Sister corrects her, That’s a mourning dove or some kind of dove. (But the dove does actually sound a little like an owl.) I’m secretly (but not-so-secretly) proud of my little bird-nerds, and that Big Sister can now properly identify the difference between a grey heron and a stork in flight is just a little bit of bliss for this Mama.
So, there we sat in the rain, snuggled up under a blanket, Big Sister was debating whether it was too soon for the seeds we just planted and my mind wandered back to the cuckoos. Will they still be singing in a few weeks when Big Sister turns 5? Although Cuckoo birds are parasite birds, (meaning they lay their eggs in another bird’s nest and allow the other species to raise their young) they hold a special place in my heart. Their call is so distinct and their return each year marks so many special occasions. But I think the real reason they are special to me is that I thought they were extinct the first time I heard one.
Now every time I hear their call I am reminded of that feeling–the energy and newness around realizing that something you thought was long gone actually still exists. I felt the same way about hedgehogs when I moved to Germany. I actually thought maybe hedgehogs were mythical creatures. I wasn’t sure they were real. Imagine my delight when I held one in real life. I realize that a simple google search could’ve cleared this up but no matter—these are metaphors for deeper experiences that wake us up and pump life into our veins. I never tire of standing back and marveling at life’s wonders. These moments, I believe, are part of what tether us, in this spinning universe, to all the things that have been before and all the things that are still to come.