Last weekend, I got a glimpse into what life might be like 10 years from now. For part of the weekend, our family of three instantly became a family of six. Quite the increase!
We were hosting a few of my brother's kids while he and his wife were out of town. His kids are 9, 8, and 4 (plus a baby, but they took him with them). Add our own two-year-old, and we had our hands full. Actually, we had a grand time making homemade pizza, playing Monopoly, eating pudding dirt cups with gummy worms, and going to Wheeler Farm for a picnic.
Will LOVED having so many kids around to play with, and in many respects, it was actually easier to have four kids instead of one. Sure it was chaos from time to time (I think three glasses of orange juice were spilled at breakfast), but there is something to be said for having multiple kids to be each other's playmates. The older kids were good at entertaining themselves most of the time, and they did a lot of entertaining of the little ones, too! I didn't quite know what to do with myself when I got to prepare dinner in relative peace while all the kids played in the basement. It was beautiful!
It definitely stretched my mothering abilities though. I think the hardest thing about having so many children is just keeping track of everyone's needs at a given time. Who wanted water? Who wanted grape jelly vs. strawberry? Who still needs to go to the bathroom? Who hasn't brushed their teeth yet? And that's just the superficial stuff. How do make sure that every child feels loved every day and gets real, meaningful interaction with you?
Good thing I've got some time to work up to those challenges.
The best part of the weekend, though, was just watching them love each other so much. Walking around Wheeler Farm, I was touched by images of the kids chasing after one another, Graham giving piggy back rides, and walking in a line of children holding hands. I am at the beginning of all this beautiful chaos, since I only have Will so far. But the chaos of a large family is beautiful. I look forward to expanding our family and having a permanent crew of Harrs running in circles around me.
Until then, I have some great memories of this weekend's glimpse into the future.