'Til the Fat Lady Sings

Week 37: 4.21.08

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Last week on a work night I met Aaron at a Japanese restaurant we like. I had a beautiful gold and silver grilled mackerel surrounded by tiny dishes of pickles, rice, chilled tofu, sesame spinach, and miso soup. Then I topped it all off with some green tea ice cream. The woman at the next table was pregnant too--she seemed to be taking endless pleasure in slurping up a bowl of soba noodles, and I noticed she followed my lead on the ice cream.

Over dinner Aaron and I talked about work for a while, and our families (I had a shower last weekend and everyone from old friends to cousins to in-laws was there). Then we walked through Central Park surrounded by green grass, budding trees and blossoming forsythia and daffodils. I was so ecstatic I began to spout absurd poem-like constructions about the spring. I noticed Aaron looking around to see if anyone was listening as I composed a spontaneous haiku in honor of the purple-pink glimmer of a sunset appearing above Columbus Circle.

We wound up at Lincoln Center just in time for me to join the bathroom line before settling in for a new production of Philip Glass's Satyagraha. I found the music stirring and the simple yet beautiful staging breathtaking. I had thought of giving away my ticket, since I get rather tired after work, but I'm glad I didn't; it turned out to be my favorite opera of the season.

It was also my last opera for quite some time. In fact, that night could, possibly, be the last Japanese restaurant, the last sunset in Central Park, the last in-depth conversations about non-baby-related topics...the last real date for a while.

There's a finality to everything suddenly. My cookbook project is winding up, so this is my last week of going in to the office. "When are you supposed to have that baby?" Mike in the mailroom asked the other morning (I pass him 24 times a day on the way to the women's room). And today, when I bellied up next to someone in the copy-editing department she jumped and shouted "when are you due? Now?"

Who knows! Maybe I'll finish up work and spend a few weeks washing the endless, and endlessly adorable, onesies I got at the shower, arranging the house for our guest of honor, finding a pediatrician, and stocking the freezer with homemade chicken broth. If so, I hope I also manage to get to the pool and yoga class, make healthy dinners, and generally retain my sanity. Maybe Aaron and I can even go on a few more dates. But in case that's not in the cards, and we don't get back to our Japanese restaurant for a while, I'm making tonight's dinner to celebrate the way things are right now--however long this lasts.

Recipe: Soba with Braised Spring Vegetables