Thanksgiving was Thursday November 24th. On Sunday the 27th we lost my grandma Jessie, and two days after that, on Tuesday the 29th we finalized a contract on what will be our new home at the end of January. Now we are looking ahead to the Christmas season, excited to celebrate the birth of Christ and the most grand gesture of love that God could have made towards us. At the same time, we are making to-do lists and putting plans together related to getting our house on the market and then moving at the end of January. Celebration and thankfulness, grief and heartache, excitement and anticipation. It's a lot to move through in a short amount of time.
I think all of these layers that have fallen into place one after another without much time to process or let them sit before the next one comes upon us has had an interesting affect.
1) I cannot stop breaking glasses. We are down to about half the amount we started out with in November. I fumble them, drop them, drop baby food jars onto them, smash them in the sink by stacking too many dirty dishes on top of them, crack them down the middle by heating milk inside of them and after emptying them of the warm milk pouring more cold milk into them (hello!), you name it... I'm destroying them. With each crash Rob calls out to me that there are better ways of asking for new dishes. (HA)
2) I am sort of shutting down my emotional side. It's hard to really celebrate something while you are grieving. It's hard to grieve when you're excited about a new chapter in the life of your family. It's hard to keep the kitchen clean when you keep shattering glasses. It's impossible to focus on what needs to be done each day - the to do lists as well as the really important things you want to be sure you are teaching to your impressionable children - when your head is in the clouds reminiscing about the 3 days you carried a brand new baby over that threshold. About all of the important milestones that these walls have witnessed, the relationships that have formed with neighbors who might as well have been angels during my most traumatic moments as a young mother, the birthday parties in the backyard and the crisp afternoons spent in piles of leaves in the front yard. That little train bell that we discovered on the side of our shed when Robbie was nearly 2 and asked to ring it (I think I'm going to have to take that with me). Why is it so hard to leave a home?
3) I keep forgetting things. People I'm supposed to call back, playdates I've scheduled during the time I'm driving to and from preschool, important dates, forgetting to put bibs in the diaper bag... If it's not written down, it's lost on me. Even when it's written down, it only has about a 50% chance of actually being followed through on. This really bugs me because it is NOT "me".
In addition to a sort of detached state I'm walking around in, I am keenly aware of how quickly my kids are growing and changing. That in and of itself creates a somewhat foreign feeling - like, 'where did my kids go and whose are these?!'.
Robbie can do simple addition and subtraction. We had a conversation this weekend at dinnertime, prompted by him, about heaven and where we will spend eternity. His lip quivered when he asked if he would be alone with God and Jesus in heaven, and was relieved and comforted when we explained that Mommy and Daddy and everyone else who loves Jesus will be there too. He was a little concerned about how he would get there, and thought we might need to secure a rocket ship in order to get to heaven one day.
Ellie is awesome at coloring and will not stop talking expressively with what I think is an extensive vocabulary. Both kids are sensitive in newer and deeper ways, and thank goodness we are moving into the obedience-is-easier phase. They aren't keeping each other awake as much at night, and when I explained that they would get to have their own bedrooms at the new house, Robbie protested and asked for Ellie to continue sleeping in his room. Their relationship is growing and I couldn't be happier. They willingly share more often than not, resolve their differences well and even sometimes on their own, and are quick to offer comfort or support when the other is sad/scared/in need of help.
Maddie is nearly sitting up on her own all the time. She's eating baby food, dabbling in puffs, jabbering more, showing genuine emotions when she's with us (comfort, happiness, joy, frustration, etc.), and just wants to JUMP! and BOUNCE! all the time. I have a feeling she's going to blow right through her 9 month and 6-12 month clothes and pj's because she's growing so long so quickly.
Basically, I feel like back at the beginning of November life was one way, and now just a month later so much has changed. I know I'll find my footing and get my bearings, and allow myself to move back through this past November and December in a more thoughtful way that allows for processing. Moving will be an adventure, but for this homebody? The thought is a little overwhelming, which tempts me to eat a lot of melted cheese, drink lots of salted caramel hot chocolate, and abandon cooking as much as possible in exchange for nights on the couch with my best friend (who I'm lucky is very understanding and forgiving).
We are blessed and for that I am deeply grateful. And when things change around us, on any scale, it is comforting to know that our Father in Heaven never changes.