I will live in Austin for one more week. A week from tomorrow, I’ll leave for Italy and my kids will stay in Austin without me, with their grandparents. Then we’ll come home. We’ll wash our clothes for a day, pack our suitcases. And my little family take a plane to San Francisco. Just like that. We’ll get on a plane like we’re going on vacation. We’ll get on a plane with our suitcases checked underneath, like we’re travelers on course for somewhere sweetly temporary. And we’ll land and go to a furnished home and live out of suitcases for a little while longer. And we’ll actually live in that city again.
I can’t quite make sense of it. Sometimes it all feels really fuzzy. I can’t really believe that my stuff is in some storage shed in California, waiting. All that vulnerable stuff. I’ve made plans for this last week: How we’ll get the most out of our last moments with friends. I’ve scheduled playdates that I won’t be able to stand because I’ll know my son is seeing his friends for the last time and he won’t understand it. I’ve set my heart for it. I’ve determined that I know how to do this. I understand how to say goodbye. But, usually, when I’m honest, I feel like I’ve never done this before. It’s always this scary. I’m always this vulnerable. Did I ever really live any where else but here? Do I really know how to pack my family and say goodbye?
It’s Thankful Tuesday.
I’m thankful for this guy in pretend doctor glasses.
(Yes, he does totally look like the old man from Up.)
I’m thankful for time with my family: that my Memaw got to babysit Brooksie while he slept on her couch, that my mom and I got to go shopping, that my sister in law painted my toenails, that August played for hours and hours with his cousins, that he cries whenever he leaves them because he loves them so much and feels so safe with my family.
I’m thankful for CrossFit with my brother (even though I still hate CrossFit). I’m thankful for phone conversations with my husband, for a hard and good conversation with an old friend, and for espresso from Roasters.
I’m thankful for the middle of the nights here at my parents’ when August calls me into his room and I crawl in bed with him. I’m thankful for my ability to continue tickling his back even as I fall asleep.
I’m thankful August forgave me for accidentally shooting him in the face with a foam dart. (I swear I was aiming for his leg. Worst Mom Ever.) I’m thankful my dad dug for worms with August and took him fishing. I’m thankful Brooksie has learned to say “stuck” and for the way he draws out the “eeee” sound when he says “bye.” Byeeeeeeee, byeeeeeeeeee.
I’m thankful for the airplane taking us home to Austin today. I’m thankful I get to see my husband today. I’m thankful that when August had the idea that his dad should draw me a flower and put it secretly in my suitcase, Chris listened. The day we left for Amarillo, August said: “Mommy, Daddy put something very special in your bag and you are going to be sooooo surprised!” I taped that construction paper flower to the mirror in my parents’ house. Chris also drew August a T-Rex. I’m married to an expert in sweetness.
Also, I’m thankful for high school football game watching with my family and wearing sweatshirts on a Friday night in September. And the fact that I can still rock my 30 pound baby to sleep in an ergo in a public place. Even though those huge toddler legs are hanging far too low for me to still be carrying him.
It’s Thankful Tuesday. What, my friends, is on your list?