We have cake. And we’re gonna eat it, too.

Fănel* is filling the white silence in the apartment with his monotonous haaaaaaaa. Then the sound of a fork briskly hitting its metal against a porcelain bowl repeatedly stabs Fănel’s breath from the kitchen. It’s lunchtime, but our morning was lazy and long, so it’s actually breakfast time.

Sitting cross legged on the living room couch, like a Turk beside the rich Christmas tree, I am wearing a black pair of tights and a thin, light blue denim dress – not yet my New Year’s Eve party outfit: a low cut dark raspberry dress and my precious moldavite and peridot silver jewelry set. I’ve already taken a shower and then quickly put on makeup. The makeup is not because of the party we’re throwing, I do that every day to avoid feeling too home bound. The fasteners of my dress undone down to my belly button, my left breast sticking out is being held by this tiny pair of hands,  their thin nails leaving miniature half moons into its skin. He woke us up with his laughter this morning, followed by cooing and fist chewing to announce he wants to be fed.

It’s the last day of such a generous year! I think for the first time ever I am filled only with gratitude as I am going through memories while listening to my baby hungrily swallowing my milk, curled up in my  lap. He’s been with us from the beginning of the year, so we carried him everywhere: the mountains, Amsterdam, Hungary, Greece, Sweden, the Bulgarian seaside. Not in England, though; he came after our journey in England.

I lost three of my closest friends. Three people I loved with all my heart. Three people I shared my life with, no cards close to my chest. Pregnancy had a way of clearing people out of my life. I made new friends and got a husband and a son. I couldn’t have asked for more, really. Although I did get so much more.

This time last year we were flying to Stockholm. I’m remembering the last two years’ dancing parties in Sollentuna, a Stockholm suburb, together with my cousins and my friends – such a great time. This year we’re partying wildly, the three of us, in our home.

“You’ve grown so much, Dana, you’re now raising others”, I remember a friend telling me on the phone a few days after I gave birth.

All I really have to say after this amazing year is just: “Thank you.”

*I decided to name household appliances and make them feel  part of the family, and Fănel, the dehumidifier, is our latest adoption.