Round here, when someone has a baby, we cook them a meal.
|A not great photo of Cottage Pie, Tea Loaf, and a little gift for Baby Tobias.|
When Bella was born I joined my local branch of the NCT and started attending their weekly coffee mornings. I met a group of women who had babies of a similar age, almost all of us first time mothers and with no family nearby. Now Bella is at school and Angus is two and a half, we don't go any more. But the friendships remain and we see those same women (and their partners, and other children) regularly. Those ladies mean a great deal to me.
The Meal Drop idea came from a friend of mine who's church dropped off a meal every night for two weeks when her first child was born. They had a rota and a different person cooked each day. We adopted this and every time a friend had a new baby (or moved house, or suffered a bereavement) we volunteered to cook for them. When Angus was born, we had twelve meals delivered...lamb orzotto, mousaka, cottage pie, lasagne, quiche, curries. Sometimes people made a dessert (one friend who claimed she couldn't cook made a lemon meringue pie from scratch. She's busted.) Sometimes a bar of chocolate or a bottle of wine in the bag as well. It is the nicest thing to have someone turn up on your doorstep and drop off some food they have made for you. All you have to do is put it in the oven and go back to round-the-clock feeds. It made me feel cared for, and made the fact that my family live so far away a little easier to bear.
Today was my turn to cook for Emily and I made cottage pie (easy, adults and kids like it, you can hide vegetables in it) and a tea loaf. I love tea loaf at the moment. A warming January meal. I had a quick cuddle with the delicious new baby and then said goodbye and drove home, the tiredness on my friend's face reminding why we are stopping at two.
Bella is home from school again today. Yesterday involved a lot of lying on the sofa watching DVDs while cuddling her bunny.
But by the afternoon she had perked up enough to make some bear-sized beds out of shoe boxes with Angus.
But this morning she was sick again so it's another day off school today.