I am recuperating from a BIG Thanksgiving weekend.
Wednesday night I went to the airport with Penny to pick up her ( and Brad's) cousin, Rosanna-from-Montana, and Rosanna's husband Michael and almost 3 month old baby Matthew... ( For some reason, I had a hard time getting their names straight. I would call the husband Matthew and the baby Michael. Why?! Blame it on the pregnancy. That's my excuse for everything these days. ) As the clock ticked towards midnight and Penny and I craned our necks to try and catch a glimpse of these folks that I had never met before and only one of whom she had met before ( the last time she saw Rosanna was something like twenty years ago) we contemplated doing a New Year's type countdown as 12:00 approached and then yelling,
" Happy Thanksgiviiiiiing!" when the moment struck...and throwing confetti, yelling, and wearing party hats.
Why DON'T we do that?
But anyway. We met them, ( Michael is 6' 9" so he was hard to miss...) and we all drove home. I got to bed around 2:30. A tired lil puppy I was. ( Did you know that the Wendy's drive-thru closes PROMPTLY at 1:00 a.m. sharp and even if you are inches away from the little ordering microphone when the hour rolls over, they will have no mercy on you...?! Come on! We were in LINE! MAN. We were cast into the outer darkness where there was much tummy-grumbling and gnashing of teeth. Not by me- but by the Hungry Montanans. No - not really- they were quite cheerful for being hungry.)
Thanksgiving was fun and delectable - and a bit cozy: 12 of us around a table made for 8 at Mom and Dad Pass's.
The nursery was finally completed - sort of, mostly, except for a minor wall decoration or two - in time for Matthew's arrival and I was so glad because it was put to good use. Over the weekend, I walked around with him and fed him and changed diapers ( and was... ahem ... unceremoniously "anointed" at one point - that'll teach me) so it was great experience. I called him my practice baby. It was a small but nevertheless enlightening foretaste of the intensity and all-consuming constancy of the early stages of motherhood. Oh my. I am already praying for grace. And Matthew was a GOOD baby. He's a heavy little chunk at 14 pounds, but he's a good baby.
One of the little neighbor girls was outside on the deck talking to Brad at one point this weekend and was a bit startled to look through the window and see me carrying a baby around. She said, " I thought he was supposed to come NEXT month!"
( A little parenthetical jaunt here: I am starting to be overwhelmed again at the necessary level of selflessness and risk involved in raising a child. You do EVERYTHING for this other person for literally YEARS and they grow up a little more and don't remember a bit of all you've done for them and no matter how good a parent you are, they develop into snotty, selfish, willful little rug-rat fleshpots who think they are The Boss and have no concept that they owe their existence to you, that you loved them sight unseen, before they had any concept of love, and you then try with all your might to shepherd them to the feet of God and nudge them down the path of sanctification. Hopefully the inevitable selfish child is just a stage that they will grow out of and become responsive, responsible, loving, wise, and mature but there are NO guarantees. Okay- yes, I know there are many joys along the way- I'm not TRYING to be an Eeyore/Ichabod/Doubting Thomas - but you run the risk that this person, who you have poured so much into, could grow into an adult who turns around and adopts ideas and behaviors that could disappoint you, break your heart... and then they could grow distant from you and misunderstand you and choose to reject you. Huh. So... * big revelation of the year*: I guess you kind of HAVE to trust God. This is what HE goes through with His children all the time. It makes me want to run and give my parents BIG HUGS. Well, you're probably reading this, Daddy and Mama, so consider yourself virtually HUGGED. And next time I see you, I'll give you a real one. Thankyou for taking the risk of bringing me into the world and raising me.)
One of the highlights of the weekend for me was on Friday when we had a small crowd gather at our house in the evening. After dinner, Brad started a bonfire in our fire pit and people filtered down to our backyard...and more people came along ... like Jeff and Fritter, Frank, Roy, Nate and Pen, Joe and Helen...and Cousin KJ was already here...Anyway- a jolly time was had by all...( I think) ( maybe everyone was just pretending) and after a while people filtered back into the house and played games and fellowsheeped until the wee hours.
It was nice to get to know Rosanna; she is Brad's only cousin on his father's side. It's not often I meet family members that close for the first time who aren't babies. We had several really good talks.
So there's my Thanksgiving weekend in a nutshell. Brad and I were talking about how Thanksgiving was the last big thing standing between us and the arrival of the baby. Now, Thanksgiving's gone...Next stop: Baby. I wonder when it's going to finally become real to me. Probably about the time I start screaming for the epidural.
I feel like I'm walking blindfolded across a field and I know there's a big cliff coming up, but I'm not sure where it is exactly. But I know I am going to step over the edge...and I really have very little idea of what I will find and what life will be like after the plunge. It will be the culmination of that first startling realization that I was going to have a baby: the moment I saw the test, I felt like the world exploded. I can not imagine what seeing him in the flesh is going to be like.