Our good friends, Kerina and Ollie, have just become the proud parents of a beautiful little boy.
I’m thrilled for them. As new parents, they’ve embarked on an incredible journey, one that will bring them more joy and happiness than they could have ever imagined. Their hearts will expand, be made light again. They’ll learn to adjust their pace to a toddler’s ramble and to see the world through the eyes of a child once more – all enormous gifts.
It will also be challenging at times. They’ll be pushed beyond what they thought were their limits of endurance and patience. They’ll have to get by with less sleep and less money. The awesomeness of their new responsibility will sometimes feel overwhelming.
I had my daughter when we were living in Shanghai, China. I remember the panic I felt when we left the hospital – I couldn’t believe that the medical staff were trusting us alone with this tiny, helpless infant. We drove home at 30kms an hour, not an easy feat in Shanghai’s crazy traffic, terrified that something bad would happen on the way.
The first few days were a blur of sleeping, feeding and getting to know our little darling. Friends came to pay their respects, bringing all sorts of gifts. Our gorgeous American friend Sara came to visit and after she left, I found a container of home made mushroom risotto and a fat wedge of cake in our fridge.
It was one of the kindest things anyone could have done. We were so busy caring for and gazing at our new baby that our own basic needs had been pushed to one side. Some days it was a major achievement to have a shower before mid afternoon.
So Sara’s gift of food was a kindness I have never forgotten.
Now that Kerina and Ollie are taking their first tentative steps as parents, I want to be there for them in the same way.
So last weekend I cooked for them. I made dishes that could be kept in their freezer and heated up again without any diminishment in texture or taste. Chicken Cacciatore Pasta Sauce. Salmon & Corn Casserole with Rice. Beef Stew.
Parenting isn’t easy – I think it’s the toughest (and most rewarding) job in the world – but it’s lot easier when you have people around you that support you through the tough times, share their wisdom, admit their lessons learned, and celebrate your successes with you.
So this post is dedicated to all our family and friends who have been there for us along the way.
And, of course, to Kerina & Ollie. Welcome to your new world. You’re going to do just fine.