As far as I was concerned, there were five ripe bananas on the kitchen counter of the house on the edge of a cow farm, and this meant something had to be done.
Summer swept in last week. The city is stifling, Wall Street has slowed down and out in Pennsylvania my brother's garden is in full bloom. Oregano, zucchini, ripening tomatoes and a brand new baby boy who came into the world on the second to last day of June.
New life is fascinating. We marvel at how touching a babies foot will cause the tiny toes grasp your finger with an eerie force. We watch as fresh grey-blue eyes look around, no doubt processing the alien shapes and sounds above. And we remember that just as things grow and things end, everything also becomes new again.
The day after my nephew was born, we came back and held down the fort. At sunset we strolled past the four foot high corn fields and met eleven Amish cows gathering in the golden light of the clover field by the stream. We clipped squash blossoms from the garden out back and a sole rose from the bush. My nephew slept between my parents,and when I woke up, I saw that the bananas had turned black.
With fresh eyes and inspired for the first time in weeks, I mashed them up and whipped into a batter. I mixed up butter and cinnamon with a graham cracker crust and topped the banana cupcakes with vanilla-honey buttercream and a sweet blue hydrangea blossom.
found that the way we process relationships and love as adults relates
back to our interpersonal neurobiology as newborns. The sensations
and communication experienced in those first few days of life leave a
lasting effect on the rest of a lifetime's behavior.
I am so lucky to have been a part of these first days of my nephew's life. Like his brother, I can't wait to dote on him, to love him and to watch him grow. I wonder how he will be different and how he will be the same. And most of all, I'm excited to see how he will continue to remind us, just by existing, how much of a miracle life really is.