It has been a crazy pleasant summer here in Indiana. I've hardly broken a sweat. We've had only a couple of weeks of heat and humidity, but the rest of the summer has been all big fluffy clouds, awesome thunderstorms, and cool breezes.
We were taking the air this afternoon, which was exceedingly fine, and strolling around our usual haunt, the Small Liberal Arts College just blocks from our home when my throat clenched up a bit and I realized that we don't have very many strolls and hauntings left in that place. I've been buzzing around there since high school. I used to sing in the community choir and take cello lessons in the fine arts center, my brother graduated from there, and the library has been Matt's and my sanctuary whenever we've stayed with my parents. We walked home through the little playground across from our apartment, where I used to play with some friends I had when I was five or six.
We had just gotten back from the baby's checkup at the doctor's office where my mom took me when I was a baby. I showed Scott the wooden beads and big wooden play clock on the wall that I remember playing with from a very young age. The doctor is a different one than the guy we used to see, who was the backup for our midwife, who dug a piece of toothpick out of my foot when I was eight or so, and who is now our representative in the State House. But this doctor is an old family friend from church and homeschooling days. He had taped a calendar photo of Arches National Park on the ceiling above the examining table, and I pointed it out to Scott and told him that I had been camping there with the doctor himself. I used to think I was going to marry his son but I didn't (although we did go to prom together twice.) I still hang with his daughter and wife.
Every step I take in this town is executed with unthinking confidence, because I'm walking on personal and family history. I was gazing at my baby today and realized that he was cradled in a rocker lent from my friend who's the doctor's daughter, wearing a hand-me-down onesie from a church friend, and wrapped in blankets made or given to us by still more friends from church.
I'm excited to move and optimistic that things will generally be good, but I get a little scared when I think about how that cradle full of blankets wouldn't be there without our friends. Heck, we wouldn't have any furniture either. I know we'll make friends, but there will be so many new things happening. New house, new city, new church, new circles of friends, grad school, new stages for the baby, new jobs, etc. Someone once told me that you should only allow yourself one huge life change per year. But you just can't plan that kind of thing. Love and babies can be surprising.
I'm rambling, I know, and mixing metaphors here and there. The baby was mega fussy after getting his DTaP shot today (that's what we instantly blamed anyway) and now I deserve to go drown in a beer and my exciting novel. ("Oh, my, GOD!" I said this morning after an eventful section in the book. "What's going on?" "I can't possibly explain it, it's too eventful.")