Friday, September 24, 2010


Present participle of co·zy (verb)
1. Impart a feeling or quality of comfort to something.
2. Give someone a feeling of comfort or complacency.

It is officially cozy season: the harvest moon was this week, the 78 cents a pound local spartan apples are in stores, condensation is gathering on my single-pane windows, and I'm wearing socks around the house trying to escape the cacophony of competing leaf blowers exhaling dead flora from one neighbors lawn to another and back again as the wiry yard maintenance men keep each other in business.
And I suppose I do find myself feeling rather comfortable and complacent. As soon as I realized that the hot season was over I started jogging, only to discover a week later, that the rainy season had arrived just in time to dampen my zest. Now as much as I love how running in the rain makes my cells tingle, my new rubber boots are simply more enticing than running shoes and darn hard to jog in.
I'm 6 months into motherhood and I've been dismayed at how this stay-at-home parenting gig has really hindered my ambition. My greatest aspirations have whittled down to writing a small amount every day, providing my family with healthful flavorful meals every night, and having three more babies in the next six years. Pretty reasonable, no? 
At least I am writing every day. Some days I put something downright mundane in the agenda I'm using as an alternative to the traditional baby book, like last Friday's riveting "O rolled front to back 3x" while other days I manage a heartfelt email or blog posting. One day soon I'll get back to my writer's group; maybe once Oaks stops waking every three hours at night or perhaps when I stop missing him as soon as he's in bed. 
Most days I'm pretty satisfied with the variety of colors I get onto our dinner plates and the ratio of roughage to protein and starch. Though I suffer from the serious culinary condition of not being able to remember what meals I made recently and which were keepers, so that I find myself struggling daily to make something I've never made before. This is fine (though exhausting) for someone like myself who prefers not to eat the same dish twice in one month and is currently on maternity leave, but nearly impossible to maintain when working outside the home. To assist in my constant recipe mining I reference my collection of cookbooks (frequenting The New Basics, The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, and the stack of Everyday Food magazines that I found at my old laundromat) as well as and my food-loving family who also enjoy a good meal every now and then, to put it lightly. Whenever members of the Dante clan share a meal the conversation always drifts towards planning the next meal while we're still enjoying the present one; it would be a good joke if it weren't so true. Emails between my mother, my sister, and myself begin or end with what we've pulled out the garden or a new recipe or concoction. In fact, my sister prompted this post with the mention of her recent parsnip and pear soup inspired by the cooling weather.
The killer instinct is alive and well in Central Park, NYC
And I wasn't kidding about the multiple siblings for Oaks. The little guy has really got my baby senses tingling, but my career goals not so much. How do they do it those mom-preneurs? I wonder if I ever had the killer instinct or if my languishing gumption is a symptom of first-time motherhood. So while the season is imparting its comfort, I am cozying up to the idea of going back to work in a few short months and coming to the conclusion that Fall is definitely too fleeting.