Yesterday, Jonny and I took a long walk with Mabel and discussed the feelings of overwhelm we have both been experiencing lately. All summer long, in the background of an already full life, we have been working to prepare our old house to sell. We haven’t contracted out for the work, making this instead a family effort. (We have had some help from very good friends, and I’ll share our final big project later this week.) Being in the midst of so many big decisions not to mention an incredible amount of sheer hard work, sometimes we both feel like we are in a bit of a fog, unable to do anything but take the next tiny step forward.
The good thing about all this work is that we are near desperate to see an end to it, and that is serving to mostly outweigh the nostalgia that is always looming around the edges of this life change. After all, we were a family of three with Jonny and I only twenty-four years old when we bought our little house. That home held us as we grew to be a family of ten, saw births and grief, and all the love in between. This morning, Gabe and I went over and dug up last year’s Mother’s Day fig tree in order to move it to our new house. It felt good to go get it. I still have a bit of madder root to harvest over there, but after that I think I’ll be ready to say goodbye. I hope I’ll stop having that nagging feeling that I’ve forgotten something. I can only imagine that there might be one last desperate urge to cry out, “Wait!” before the door closes for good.
While I certainly have my moments of sadness and loss over selling the home that we poured so much of ourselves into, mostly it’s business as usual here. Life demands that, and moving forward does feel good. The best way I know to distract and keep myself in the present is to “make home.” I’ve been very hesitant to do much of that in our current house while we are still renting, but as we near the start of another school year, I have so much to do! I’ve been organizing and planning and dreaming of what’s next. Miss Mabel is a very busy little girl, and will surely be my biggest challenge this year. I spend much of my day trying to prevent head injuries as she is a little climber (aren’t they all at this age?) Thankfully, she has discovered a love of books and can frequently be found sitting with one open in her lap. Using an old shelf that Jonny made along with a little rug and a thrifted child-sized rocking chair, I recently fashioned a cozy little corner for her. She seems to be very pleased with it. I bought her a handful of new board books only to have her remind me of the fact that toddlers are often slow to accept new books. She prefers her old favorites, such as Goodnight Moon, but she is starting to warm up to her new ones as well. I’m thinking that a little basket of books in other spots in the house will help keep Mabel happy this fall as we get started on a brand new school year and a brand new chapter in our lives.