2 November, 2014
Squish Turns One; the final visit home
We celebrated Squish’s first birthday back in our hometown this weekend. It was a crazed hullabaloo of seeing our friends and our tribe and having one last hoorah before we head south.
NomPa kept mentioning how odd it was to be home for a visit knowing we would not be returning any time soon. For him, the weekend was a definitive closing of one chapter and starting another, as we won’t be going back home for the foreseeable future. The reality of all of this still hasn’t landed within me yet. My brain, for whatever reason, is failing to grasp the idea that we won’t be going back to our house in our nice neighborhood with our cats. It cannot conceive of this being anything more than an extended holiday.
So all our goodbyes felt not like goodbye to me, but like “see you later”. As though everyone is going to come and visit us while we are in Latin America. At some point it’s likely to hit me like a ton of bricks. ‘Later’ isn’t next month; it’s next year. Our boy will have to reacquaint himself with everyone all over again and we will all miss out on so many of the small yet pivotal parts of one another’s families growth. I have left the home I worked so hard to return to, yet I recognize what we were doing also wasn’t working for us and the grounded, anchoring sense of home now feels more tied to my Noms rather than my city and community.
That said, it was humbling and lovely to see the turnout for our party. We could not ask for a better farewell, nor could we imagine a better celebration of our boy’s first year than the one we held at his favorite coffee shop. We spent some of the evening after the party remarking on how very blessed we are to know so many wonderful people.
The day of Squish’s actual first birthday was midweek, so we took him to Portland’s Salt and Straw for his first sugar high off NomPa’s Strawberry Balsamic and Black Pepper cone (My Coffee Bourbon was clearly going to be off limits). He ran around like a manic wild thing for 45 minutes then crashed pretty hard on the way home. For his birthday party yesterday I made him a grain, sugar, and dairy-free smash cake using this recipe I found on Urban Poser. Admittedly, I had only a sampling of its tasty parts before it was crushed by delighted baby hands but it held well and seemed as though it would be delicious when assembled. I may have to make it again to test that theory. I recommend using Urban Poser’s recipe for any dairy-free/paleo birthday cake recipient. She has mastered the art of good frosting, she has.
As the cake was thoroughly destroyed, all other guests nommed on cupcakes from Yellow Leaf Cupcake instead.
A very, very special thank you to Zoka for the use of their space, decorating for us and for loving on our Squish for the first year of his life. He was excited to return back to the cafe and hang out in familiar territory!