A reader once suggested that the journey to motherhood is akin to walking a labyrinth: a challenging 9-month route to the center, over the course of which that sweet babe grows in your belly, and an equally (if not more) challenging 9 month navigation back to the edge, or maybe more aptly the surface, where you can once again gulp the sweet air of independence and re-assimilate into the society you slowly retreated from, now a full 18 months later.
But the thing is, at 18 months (or rather, 9 months out), I still wasn’t quite there. The air still seemed a little thin. Most mornings were clouded yet by a film of anxiety over what the day might bring. That distinct meness I craved with such fervor was still only just out of reach, tickling my fingertips — ghostly wisps of my former self waiting to be reabsorbed back into my modified being. And I let it linger there, in the ether, taking immense comfort in its proximity and romanticising the day when we’d be one again.
Lana turned 14 months yesterday, and I can tell you: I think I’m finally there. Whole and happy and me. And not just me as in the new me, the mom me that I’ve talked about being before, but me as in the old me, too. The cynical, snarky, energetic, hungry me that Chris could probably sometimes do without. She’s come round again. And you know what did it? A birthday.
Earlier this month, Chris put a whopping 33 candles on my cake. It took him a full five minutes and 11 matches to set that thing afire, but he did it without singeing a single eyebrow and then triumphantly set it before me while Lana clapped along in a fiery trance. (It was a literal hot mess.) That morning, Chris had surprised me with several decadent hours at the spa, followed by a little family walk to get sandwiches downtown. For dinner, we ordered-in more sushi than we could possibly eat (which I impossibly ate), and as I sat there, bathed in the violent flicker of my diminishing youth, I realized: I feel pretty friggin’ great.
Somewhere in the past month or so, that underlying utterance of How’s this gonna go… kinda just turned into Here we go! and, lo and behold, the house hasn’t burned down. (Melted, maybe, because we’re sans A/C and it’s been all kinds of hotttttt around here, but no literal fires. I mean, aside from the birthday torch. And if that wasn’t gonna do it…) We drove down to Santa Barbara for a wedding last weekend, and despite Lana’s still undeveloped affinity for long-distance car travel, it was fine. More than fine. Almost pleasant. We kept her up past bedtime so she could eat mini kobe beef sliders and feed the giraffes (it was at the Santa Barbara Zoo — how freaking cool is that?) and she was no worse for the wear. To the contrary, she took it upon herself to start taking steps all by herself this weekend, as if to say, I, too can throw caution to the wind.
We’re doing ok, guys.
Oh, and then there’s the whole It’s Officially Summer thing, which it better damn well be, because — as I mentioned above — it’s hot as shit around here. For those of us still nursing a (now rather large) baby, that equals all the boob sweat, plus all the crook-of-the-arm sweat where you support their (also) sweaty little head. It’s neither pretty nor fun and all but requires immediate application of something cool and icy to the face upon completion. Like a popsicle, mehbes.
This year marks Billy’s Fourth Annual #PopsicleWeek bruhaha, and partygoers are bringing some serious game. I’m already feeling kinda sad about the fact that I didn’t go the way of a rainbow pop like Joyce or Jessica, both of whom are clearly cooler than me. Instead, in true millennial-on-the-old-side-of-millennials fashion, I took a trending hashtag and turned it into a popsicle. Does that make me despy? Maybe a little. Do you hate the word despy? Probs.
But bottom line: these pops are tops.
If you’re not familiar with the #pinkdrink moment that’s happening, it’s this thing where you order a Strawberry Acai Refresher from SBeezy’s with coconut milk instead of water, and it tastes like a liquefied Skittle. These pops, I promise you, do not taste like liquefied Skittles — or even like liquefied and frozen Skittles, because I know that’s what you were thinking. They do taste, however, like faintly sweetened (with maple syrup!) strawberries and coconut and they’re infused with just enough green tea to keep things light and lightly caffeinated and they’re generously drizzled with white chocolate and topped with more strawberries and more coconut because duh.
I mean, life is pretty good with one of these in your mouth.
But like I said, we’re doing aiight here, popsicles or not. 😉
Stay cool out there, friends!
p.s. Check out the full #popsicleweek rundown over on Wit & Vinegar. (Be sure to pop back often as new stuff is added every day!)
p.p.s. From the #popsicleweek archives: vegan PB&J pops, mexican mocha fudge pops, strawberry basil-mic ice pops!
p.p.p.s. a very (belated) Happy Father’s Day to all the pops out there, most notably my own Dad and Lana’s fave Daddy Bug!
- 1 can light coconut milk
- 1 cup prepared green tea
- 4 T maple syrup
- 1¼ cups fresh strawberries, halved
- ¼ cup diced fresh strawberries
- ¾ cup white chocolate chips
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- crushed freeze-dried strawberries
- unsweetened shredded coconut
- To make pops: Combine coconut milk, green tea, maple syrup and halved strawberries in a blender and process until smooth. Scatter diced strawberries evenly among ice pop moulds (I use this one). Pour coconut milk mixture over top and freeze 30 mins; insert sticks. Continue to freeze until set, at least 6 hours or overnight.
- To top with white chocolate drizzle: Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove popsicles from moulds and arrange on sheet. Return to freezer while you prepare chocolate.
- Combine white chocolate and coconut oil over a double boiler and heat until completely melted and smooth, stirring frequently. Using a fork, drizzle melted chocolate over popsicles and immediately scatter with crushed freeze-dried berries and coconut. Return to freezer to set drizzle, about 10 mins. Enjoy!
OH! before you go…
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