Rooted, I used to think.

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Tuesday, Feb. 01, 2022 @ 12:27 pm
Lemon Tart

The desire for a child, my own family, remains, a month later.

I observe the feeling with curiosity and interest. My perspective on the world has shifted. I look at families differently, with an envy that didn’t previously exist.

We are over for dinner with friends. In the bathroom, sitting in the bathtub, is a padded bag filled with syringes and vials. They tell us that they are doing IVF. My reaction is so different from what I would have felt before. There is a warmth of joy for them and a small stab of ache for myself.

There are evenings that draw out at length. We sit on the couch and read quietly in the dark. I am not alone in the apartment, and yet I feel lonely. It’s too quiet. What is the point of this? I am experiencing a type of empty nest syndrome without ever experiencing a full nest.

I broach the subject with a delicate hesitancy.

“The house feels so quiet lately. I’m almost starting to think about wanting a family…”

I watch his reaction. He tells me that things are weird and that we haven’t been able to socialize and do activities and that the feeling will likely disappear once things are back to normal.

I didn’t carry the conversation forward from there. For now.


Peter messaged me early January. I failed to respond.

A week later, he called me. Again, I failed to respond.

Another week later, he called me again.

What does he want?

One sunny afternoon, after finishing a run, I sit on a bench in the cold sunshine and call him back.

“I miss my running partner,” he says.

We talk for an hour. I ask him all of the things and listen with detachment. He offers me scraps of attention. He says some things that I fundamentally disagree with. I tell him that I’m happy to run if he wishes to come by to start from my place. I’ve always gone to him. It’s always been convenient for him. He hrmms and haws and says he can’t afford that much time during the day. He has never acknowledged that I jog a kilometer from my office to his apartment every time that we have met up in the past.

He’s not very nice. He thinks that he’s a nice person, but he’s actually not.


We have friends over for dinner. Among the group are restrictions on meat, dairy, eggs, soy, gluten, and peanuts. In a rare moment of culinary inspiration, I open my baking cupboard and create the most glorious lemon tart that’s ever come out of my kitchen - and it holds together despite a lack of gluten and eggs.

When it comes time to serve dessert, I am flush with pride. I place it on the table describing all of the ingredients that it’s lacking and receive the appropriate sighs of appreciation.

“I was prepared to have to not eat dessert,” the most allergy-ridden guest confesses. “I’m about to cry, I'm so happy. Thank you.”

“So, then, what exactly is in that thing?” the allergy-free guest queries with a note of humour.


I’m finding myself taking so many things for granted lately.

I am so very lucky.

Roots | Shoots