One. Driving past a hole-in-the-wall strip mall on our way home the other day we nearly braked in the middle of the road as we saw a brand-new Afghani kebob house. I love Afghani food. Kebobs and rice or fresh tandoori naan with a side of chopped tomatoes and cucumbers and yogurt. We haven’t seen any before so were giddy about one opening so close to our house. We can take-out when guests come last minute, or when I’m too tired to cook! I checked yelp to see if any early adventurer had checked out the place, and was stopped short at the price. $$$. And- jacket required. Convinced there had to be a misunderstanding, perhaps an uncle who didn’t understand this whole yelping shelping business and pressed the wrong button, we headed out to check the menu and were greeted by a group of eager Afghani kids who apparently pooled their money for the next big thing- fine dining, Afghan style. Except, fancy table covers can’t justify $27 for Shami Kebob and $35 for a beef platter in a hole-in-the-wall strip mall in the burbs where fish tacos are frankly considered terribly exciting and exotic. I could be wrong. Maybe pricey Afghan food will work. Just not for us. We left feeling bummed and craving Afghan food more than ever. So I consulted Chef Google and searched to no avail for a tried-and-true recipe stumbling finally upon this- written entirely in Urdu. To my complete surprise, I read it. And made it. [with some twists of my own. I’m incapable of following a recipe to the tee- andaza se is just how I roll] The result? Delicious! I’m beside myself that I read Urdu, not a primer with pictures of yellow kittens on the borders, but a grown up recipe! I couldn’t help but just sort of drop it in there when I picked up fresh naans to eat it with at the local Indian restaurant.
B: What are you making?
Me: You know, it just kind of felt like an Afghan Kebab night.
B: What? You’re making Afghani kebabs? Wow.
Me: yeah, I found a recipe online, its in Urdu, but I mean, it was simple enough.
Ha. Yes. Like I read Ghalib on a regular basis and recite Iqbal when the mood strikes. Still, finding hidden abilities to read Urdu is gloat-worthy no? It’s a shame the recipe is only available in Urdu considering the dearth of good afghani kebab recipes. I’m considering possibly translating it here and doing a step-by-step if there is interest. Let me know if you are. If so, might be worth the effort.
Two. Waleed turns eleven months old today. I have marked each month. Celebrated with a cupcake. Recorded the milestones. Taken enough pictures to wallpaper my house inside and out- and yet I am not understanding where the time went. The day they placed him in my arms in the hospital, his first birthday felt like an elusive event occurring in a mythical land- I felt that once this first birthday came- I would be a sophisticated mama and my son? Why he’d be practically reciting Shakespeare for clapping dinner guests. And while we do still have a month to go- so anything could happen- I have a sneaking suspicion neither my sophistication nor his Shakespeare recited prose will be improving anytime soon. I realized I’m not alone in feeling this way as I came across Eve’s post where she felt the same thing with her eldest son:
. . . I had this sub-background voice…more like an assumption…that if I could get past the first year, then being a mom would get significantly easier. Like, POOF, on his first birthday he would get a cake-messy face and I would get a magic wand with all the answers or something.
It’s good to know I’m not the only one who has felt this way- and sad to know no magic wand exists. While I will save the thoughts about this past month for his monthly update, tonight I looked with wonder at my baby boy who in eleven months has gone from a tight-fisted helpless creature to a standing, crawling, hollering person. Its beautiful to see him reach each milestone and heartbreaking as you leave those long-awaited moments behind. I never knew it was possible to harbor two equally strong opposing emotions simultaneously until now. Loving him involves a sort of heartbreak that inexplicably leaves me happier than I ever knew I could be.
Three. Fruitful Fusion nominated me for an award. The Stylish Blogger Award! She’s awesome and I love her blogs and appreciate the shout out. And- I love all of you guys for reading and commenting. I was telling a fabulous blogger I recently began reading that many of my blogging compatriots when I first began are not blogging anymore- the average time for blogging apparently 2-3 years. So I’m excited to see a seventh anniversary coming up in May. As I’ve mentioned before, to celebrate my son’s birthday and this blogoversary, I’m planning a fun give-away of things I like. They’re picked by me, bought by me, and there are no round-trip tickets to Paris. Sorry. But- if you read and enjoy this blog I’m pretty sure you’ll like what I’m giving away. As of now there are five things so more than one opportunity to win something. I’ll be sharing more about it later this month as the date for his birthday gets closer, but because I want to limit it to folks who read, regardless of whether you’re a new reader or not, to thank you, you can be eligible by clicking follow on the right for this blog, my writing blog, or linking to me at your own blog. All three gives three entries. Subject to tweaking as the date approaches to figure out how to include more people that may not be ‘follow-y link-y’ sorts but who read and give so much commenting-love nonetheless.
So in Sum: Seven years blogging. My son’s approaching birthday and hidden talents for Urdu literacy. A fabulous Thursday indeed. Hope you have a good Thursday too.