When life gets weird, I stop blogging.
For the past two weeks, I've had a diminished household. Which is weird.
First, Ardyn went to nanny for my sister-in-law for a couple weeks.
Then, the boys started public high school complete with football practice before and after school.
THEN, Ashlin traveled to my mom's to help her pack and keep her company on the long road-trip to relocate.
As a result, I've had two little girls in my home for the majority of each day. Only two little girls.
It has been good. Almost too good.
Do you know that two children are collectively far less chaotic than six?
Staggering mathematical estimations! Less food. Fewer dishes. Less laundry. Fewer arguments. Less traffic. Fewer shoes over which to trip.
And herein lies the rub.
I prefer less chaos. I function more happily when there are fewer conversations, fewer questions.
This has nothing to do with the specific children who are missing. As Philip and I have discussed before: any one or two taken from the mix of six changes everything. But now, I feel almost guilty for enjoying the change of pace, and slightly nervous that I might resent the reinstatement of a full house - more accurately: an extra-large straight.
Don't get me wrong. I've lost my helper girls. No, I didn't have to help them with school these past weeks, but they haven't been able to help me with chores and playing with the little girls. I've been all-time book reader, all-time hiney-wiper, all time car-seat-buckler, and all-time high-cabinet-dish-unloader. So, in a way, I've had to do more, but with and for fewer folks.
Realizing the girls and guys were away, someone recently commented, "Enjoy your week! Put your feet up. Do something you wouldn't normally do." Did she think I was on some Tahiti vacation?? I'm homeschooling a 1st grader, while engaging a 3yr old - before and after carpooling two towering teens to and from their various activities. I think images of beach chairs and beverage umbrellas might be a tad presumptuous. (In 1999, having two kids at home counted as my full-time job. Hello.)
I will admit, I wasn't sure if I should be offended or amused. I choose amused:)
So ... within a few days, we'll all be together again. And though I am grateful for these days of "one pbj cut in half. the end" lunches ...
I will also choose to be thankful for ...
Ardyn's cheerful ways,
Ashlin's calming company,
Ardyn's spirited inquiries,
Ashlin's sense for humor,
Ardyn's joy in the kitchen,
Ashlin's diligence at the school table,
Mari Alice having someone to read with her,
Elizabeth having someone to help her wash her hands,
and also ...
I will gratefully remember these weeks as a foretaste of quieter years to come.
I realize this season is saturated with people in close proximity. But from this point, each child is transitioning to leave. And some day, I'll only have two teen-aged girls at home. Only two teen-aged girls. And THEN, if I make it that long, there may be a day when it's just Philip and I ... planning our next road trip to see a grandchildren ... anticipating the next holiday when the beautiful chaos will return to our home.
Psalm 127:3 "Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring are a reward from him."
ps. Over the years, several people have asked, "Why did y'all have so many children?" Even though this is a ridiculously invasive question with a seemingly obvious explanation, and the reciprocal question, "Why don't y'all have very many children?" would be considered overt and rude, this is how I like to respond ...
"I've always wanted two things in life: a happy crowd playing football in my front yard on Thanksgiving, and a bunch of folks to talk about me when I'm dead. Having six kids is my little way of ensuring my dreams come true." -cdj