Today my oldest two are off for their first day of an all week children program at church. They are thrilled to be going off to classes and hanging out with all the other kids. I'm feeling what it's like to have to get everyone going early in the morning and making lunches every day.
My biggest complaint though is how hard it seems in some ways to have only the two little kids at home. Almost every day, I get stopped somewhere when we're out, by people commenting on the size of my family. Some of them count the kids out loud and exclaim over the size of my belly. Some think it is great. Some tell me they couldn't possibly imagine that many kids or couldn't handle them all. One, the other day, said, "You have, like, a whole herd of kids, doncha?"
I always try to answer the comments simply and politely. Being snippy doesn't tend to win friends or influence people. But now as I spend the day chasing an 19 month old and distracting a three year old all by myself, I've noticed, not that it's so much easier with just two, but that it's actually so much harder.
I hadn't really noticed how much my older two help out. They unbuckle carseats, open doors, think of games to play and even read stories to their younger siblings. Certainly, they also pick fights, boss everyone around and their games often involve large amounts of mess, but I am feeling their absence more than I noticed their presence.
Since I homeschool, my children are always with me. I generally love having them around, but I don't really notice, because that's just how things are. This little break from the two "big" kids, makes me appreciate them all the more. I'll be glad to go pick them up this afternoon and sorry to drop them off in the morning tomorrow. Not just because they'll help me manage to two wild ones, though that part is awfully nice, but because suddenly my life is quiet in a way -- I don't hear about what they are reading, thinking, or building out of Legos.
My little ones are growing up to be interesting people and they are a blessing to me. A blessing I didn't know how much I'd miss even for a few short hours every day.
5 years ago