There is something so beautiful about watching your child's circle of family extend out to include the people you hold most dear. This sort of family is chosen, not born.
And yet - in a way, I suppose - for my kids it is both.
Last weekend my lifelong friend Ami and her family came to visit. I have know Ami since we were teens, our easels pulled tightly beside each other's in painting class our junior year of high school. We were instantly best friends, graduating a semester early and traveling abroad together for a month at a time (on more than one occasion). We have stood up for each other in weddings, loved each others babies, and held each other up when our foundations have been shaken.
Sage's only request for Ami's visit was that she teach him a new recipe. They share a love of cooking and he has a serious love of her cooking. Classic and reinvented Indian food, he could eat it for every meal. (And does when she visits.)
And so a plan was made, a recipe was chosen, and some homegrown lamb meat was thawed.
And then I simply stood back and watched.
The two of them standing side-by-side at the counter, the scent of garlic and ginger in the air; I was reminded of a moment when I wasn't much older than Sage and it was her mom teaching me. Though I lacked Sage's skills and confidence in the kitchen I matched his interest as she patiently taught me how to roll out puris, start an all-day batch of onion masala, and (the one that really stuck) how to make chai.
(At 21 and 42.)
This is family. And I am grateful.
P.S. My chai recipe, inspired by the batches the I made with Ami's mom Usha when I was just a teen, is here.