And in that moment, I loved her. And I loved the situation. I loved being holed up under the dining table, sneaking an arm up to grab goat-cheese stuffed dates. I loved N's intensity and sincerity in asking us (fellow 30-somethings) for our 5 favorite trees. It was this beautiful, incandescent moment of unexpected childhood.
For the record, the 5 trees I chose off the top of my head were:
(1) Russian Olive - I love the contrast of the coloring between leaves and bark
(2) Gingko - it's a living fossil, yo!
(3) Eucalyptus - love the way it smells, even though it is bad if planted in areas where it is non-native
(5) The trees that make helicopters. And, yes, having taken botany in CANADA, I should have been able to remember that the trees that make helicopters are MAPLES.