Thankfulness, and our tribe.

It’s just that there’s been so much going on these past few months. This is the excuse for this long interlude, once again, between posts. It’s the truth, so much has been happening around here. The other half of the truth is that while I find myself to be a moderately good candidate for motherhood, I am a terrible candidate for pregnancy. I handle it about as well as a home school mom at a motorcycle rally. I blame my body–maybe I have a weak constitution when compromised with a baby? I’m willing to accept that.

We moved.

Moving is a despicable, distressing, exhausting, reduction process in and of itself. Moving from one house you own to another house you own is worse, because you’ve acquired a house-full of stuff. Moving with a toddler is really dumb, albeit sometimes necessary. Moving on a day with a high of ninety-one degrees and ninety-five percent humidity is torture. Moving pregnant is hell. Moving under all of those circumstances, on a Friday when most of your friends are working, without professional help is enough to lay a person to rest permanently. It was nightmarish, truly, between this Middle East climate we’ve had this summer and the nausea. Mark came home for forty nights in a row to an angry Ginny, which is something I do feel bad about. But we did it, on May twenty-ninth, which means we’ve lived in the new house for almost two months! It is starting to feel like home, AKA, I have family photos on the walls, we’ve painted over the ugly colors, my books are on shelves, but we still can’t find extra bed sheets, there are gallon ziplocks full of medicine on the floor in the guest bathroom and I can’t locate the kitchen shears. And now we live in this great, big beautiful house with windows everywhere, and tall ceilings downstairs, and a walk-in pantry, and a wrap-around back deck. It’s dreamy, in a Big Fish kind of way, and I’ve only accidentally driven to the old house one time.

We went on a family trip to the beach.

Mark’s been crazy busy with work.

Our baby is due in five weeks.

I finished my novel. Meaning: it’s in the printing process right.this.very.minute. And that, something that took every extra iota of attention I had for the past several months, is an entirely different story, a post for another day–hopefully one less than two months away.

But the point of all this is that I am sitting here in the living room. My wee babe is asleep in his bed. Mark is spending the night at a homeless shelter. The television is off. The house is astoundingly still. The sound is cicadas and crickets outside. And I am thankful.

For the past two months whenever the thought of blogging occurred to me, there were these thoughts, which fly around like heedless, homeless bats, seeming elusive and too small for an entire article. But when I finally combined everything I’ve been thinking it boiled down to thankfulness, and our tribe.

These people! These members of my family! These friends! We would have combusted by now.

The month of May, when I was pressed to my limit just existing, my sisters. My local sisters. They took Jack from me as often as they possibly could. These sisters that live in the same town as me called me and texted me every day. “Want me to take Jack to the pool?” “Why don’t I take Jack so you can nap?” “I’d love to have Jack spend the night.” I think one of them texted me every day begging for a chance to drive to my house, pick up, care for, feed, nap and bathe my toddler. It wasn’t just when I was at the end of my rope. It was so often, unsolicited, without expectation of repayment.

Moving day, we had friends that took the day off work! One dear couple moved with us from nine in the morning until the last hockey stick came off the truck after ten at night. (We didn’t hear from them the next day).

My in-laws came for three days and painted two rooms, then took us out to dinner. My folks came and in a whirlwind, unpacked about a hundred boxes, helped hang pictures, clean, organize, cook and build train tracks in Jack’s room. My mom painted the new girl nursery.

And then there are these friends. These local people we’ve stumbled upon like stones underfoot. Friends who helped me unpack my kitchen because it was immobilizing. Friends who carried rugs all over the house. Friends who babysat free. Friends who swept my porch and painted flowers for me instead of buying ones that would only disintegrate with time. Friends who threw us a huge taco party to celebrate all of this ABSOLUTE CHAOS, which is also the great beauty of life.

This doesn’t even delve into the emotional thankfulness I have for the friends who have helped me reach the end of the book process—again, another post…

But where I’m going with this is that even though there have been a lot of days this summer when I, regrettably, neglected to realize these gifts, I am looking back and paying my respects to them now.

So thanks, tribe, for helping us through the first half of this year. And thanks, Lord, for carrying us since the beginning.