It had been an awkward morning, I ran the race and then O. and K. came to meet me, they had a baseball game to get to and I had a baby shower in the other direction, awkward timing so no lunch proper, just a banana on my way to the party and a piece of cake once I got there. I couldn’t believe K. was so big, that the baby would have to come out of her body somehow.

C. made this chocolate cake for the holiday party that made me glad to be alive. So unbelievably, unbearably good. I could have eaten the whole thing but instead split a slice with a student worker I didn’t know. The cake wasn’t that big and there were a lot of us, and I didn’t want to be that jerk who eats the entire cake. But wow. I could have eaten that entire cake.

The institutional lunch was really elaborate, steam trays of meats and vegetables, this was not your ordinary wraps. I stood in line with M. and J. and we goggled at the warning on the roasted vegetable tray: no turnips. But why? I found the desserts inedible and was happy for the cookies that arrived later in the afternoon.

Last lunch before K. drove me to the airport to fly home to New York. Of course I was consumed with needless time anxiety, but I think K. is pretty used to that. O. and I picked up the cake J. ordered from the camp kitchen, stuck candles in it and sang a song. I’m really glad K. was born, and at a time when she could be mine.

I’d nurtured fantasies of a formal convention lunch in the basement of the Philadelphia Sheraton, the kind with a salad course and a main course, and coffee and dessert, but it was not to be, a sandwich buffet with a couple kinds of salad, a long line that I was was in the back of, it wasn’t my favorite, but at least it had the feeling of being free.

My strategy for the birthday party featuring 25 six year olds was to take myself outside as much as necessary, to prevent blowing up and pushing small people around. So I ate my two slices of pizza on the stoop out front of K.’s Dyker Heights house, went back inside to help cut the cake.

Video of a log fire flickered on the wall, the inexplicable life-sized teddy bear slumped drunkenly on an office chair, a sub sandwich covered the tables end to end twice. Holiday party! I ate fast, in between a meeting and the reference desk, feeling very in the spirit of thing.