When all is said and done, Jonah won’t remember anything about this summer. Slower than his brothers to walk, he won’t remember sitting on the pale, chalky gravel, crawling through our open house from end to end or scooping up sawdust to experience it by taste and texture. His soft round feet barely fit in any of the boys’ hand-me-downs, so barefoot he traveled on all the surfaces this house is built – dirt, rock, concrete and wood.
For weeks, he fell asleep in the car on the way home with an amazingly loud smorgasbord of background noises – bickering brothers, country music and his own squawking. Jack & Jamison would pile into the van with dirty faces and equally dirty feet. The boys knew the routine. When we got home and mama turned off the car, everyone was still and quiet until I pulled Jonah’s sleepy, sweaty little body out of his car seat and into the house. I tiptoed in flipflops on laminate through the still bright summer sunlight that shone our house a warm tangerine and finally laid him in his crib, cursing myself for forgetting to change his sheets yet again before we left.
This was our routine so often, a quick dinner and a run out to the new house. It almost felt foreign putting Jonah to bed without his sawdust covered car seat being the lullaby which wooed him to sleep. Even now, when he gets tired, the moment I walk him into the nursery, he arches his back and stretches his long solid body toward the crib, hungry for that flat, inviting space. I twirl his hodgepodge crystal mobile strung together with fishing line and knots and tell him I love him one more time.
Every once in a while he’ll dramatically drop his head heavy on my shoulder and snuggle in, but not for long, not nearly enough for my own selfish liking.
And after all the dreaming and planning and saving and scheming brought way to the waiting and red-taping and more waiting, the doing and building is gratifying, but dizzying.
Even though it’s been an unconventional summer, it’s been an unforgettable one we are sure to look upon fondly. Over time, the crazy will fall away as it so generously does and we’ll forget the hurry as our house becomes a home.