Last weekend we hosted our first official guest at our home in the woods. His name is Lucas and he is twelve years old.
It was a maiden voyage for both of us. He had never been away from his family for two nights in a row and I had not hosted someone at my home for two days in a row in years. My NYC pad was just too small. We were both a little nervous and a little excited to be taking this first step.
Lucas is Ben's life long friend. They met when they were both about one and crawling all over the playground at Tompkin's Square Park. Lucas and his family moved to Strawberry Fields from the East Village seven years ago but we always kept in touch. Now we are neighbors which is a blessing I am continually grateful for.
Both boys couldn't have been happier. They went hiking, canoeing, shooting off rockets that got stuck in tall trees, swimming and generally goofing off. His parents came to retrieve him on Sunday afternoon.
Several hours earlier a feeling of terror set into my bones.
Okay. Lunch for three children and three adults (my husband had to work that day). This should be no problem. I am actually known to be a pretty decent self taught cook. My husband and son raved about my meals -- as do my friends and family WHEN I BRING FOOD OVER TO THEIR HOUSE. Suddenly I was making a complete meals for more than my three person tribe.
Lucas and his family are vegetarian so I was careful to construct a weekend menu that he would enjoy. By the time I reached Sunday, I was drawing a complete blank. This meal was different. It was for adults. I didn't have the equipment for a quiche and it felt too hot to grill vegetables.
So I made deviled eggs. And a large colorful salad with a bit of pasta thrown in. And french bread and cheese. And watermelon. And ice cream.
Ice cream is undeniable proof of God.
Of course these guests were so kind that they would have happily eaten a bowl of cheerios with no complaint. By the time all the food was set on the table, I exhaled and my anxiety began to fade. It was replaced with the contentment that comes with good friendship and good food.