Saturday, September 25, 2010

Playing catch-up

Seven girls under the age of 10 are sleeping on my living room floor.

Last night we spontaneously invited the last girl (a six-year-old sister of one already coming) as we attempted to exit Small Town's Friday night social event football game. Her mom looked me incredulously as I feebly attempted to corral the wiggling, giggling mass of children and asked, "Are you sure you want all these girls over?" To which I replied, "We always have this many kids over. We just never know what ages they will be this time."

Such is my life.

Granted, today's five guests are only from two families. That makes it easy. Mac and cheese and sandwiches cut into pumpkins and stars, then give them a few kittens to play with, and I don't hear from them for hours as they play pretend and dress them in tutus and Santa hats.

For the ravenous masses of tweens and teens, I'm learning to cook in vats (or make double batches of Little Brown Jug Rolls), and turn up the noisemaker in my bedroom as they turn on a movie at...midnight (oh to be 17 again!). Menu planning for the inevitable extra plate(s) on the table has become an incontrovertible necessity.

Yes, I miss blogging and my "old" life of having time to reflect a little. Right now reflection is a quick glance in the mirror to see if there's anything between my teeth before I dash out the door!

But there is something amazing about a full life.

Allie turned 17 last month, has a wonderful young man that has taken interest in her, and she landed her first job (a carhop at Sonic - she refuses to let me take a pic, although I will secretly sneak one so she can always remember and be grateful for her college education some day!). And she started her first dual-credit college course. I am daily filled with the realization that our time with her under our roof is coming to a close. It's an untidy heap of sadness, dread, anticipation and exhilaration that makes me want to hold on too tight, even though I know that is a futile endeavor. Neal will be 16 soon, and driving. He is his father's son, and when I am overwhelmed (or over-scheduled, as the case may be), he is the one who offers to make dinner, as long as it's Hamburger Helper or eggs. And when Libby turns 13 in December, I will have THREE teenagers. How I remember so vividly when they were all under age 4!


I have to remind myself that the "little girls" are not so little any more. At nine, Annie is in what I like to think of as the golden age of childhood. So capable and creative and carefree. And Ruthie-6 is playing her first season of soccer, and finally has front teeth for the first time in four years.

Sigh again.

Even with all this, this fall is going much more smoothly than last year, though I started the school year off with a razing bout of bronchitis in Week 3 (or as the kids teased me: "It ain't easy being wheezy."). At least we are not dealing with H1N1. So I have that going for me.

I've been a bad blogger, letting little things like not having time to upload pics to make posts "interesting" keep me from writing. But I just need to get over that and try to jot thoughts down so I can remember this time in life.

I'm glad a few of you are walking this path with me.


Sarah said...

I feel like I just got a glimpse into my future, and it makes me thankful for my "right now"! It sounds like your family is doing well, and enjoying the crazy busy life. But thanks for reminding me that it goes fast, and I really should enjoy the craziness of the toddler years... all too soon it will be the craziness of the teenage years!

Ginger said...

So good to hear from you Katherine! Enjoy that wild ride. I was just thinking back to your 3x5 cards and thinking I need to implement something along those lines for our brood. I am so thankful for the wisdom and perspective you've shared! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I always love reading your entries. Good to have an "update" from your home. Our four under six do keep the house busy, but I am understanding that the house will stay active as they grow. Trying to remind myself to love where we are now...I tear up thinking about them growing up & paving their own paths. What a blessing to be a mama!

Joyfulness said...

Movies at midnight... silly of me to think the baby years were the no-sleep time. ;)

Rachel said...

Glad you are all doing well. I can't believe they're that old but I guess I've been reading your blog for over 3 years now.

Anonymous said...

Makes me feel wimpy when I whine about tough days with just my 2 kids here. =p 3 teens!! I'm sure you have lots of stories to tell. =) But really, sounds like tons of fun over there. If you ever miss have little ones around, I'll ship my two over to join in the sleepover fun!

Rachel Anne said...

What a sweet picture of your family life right now. You are such an incredible mom (and sister) and your family is a beautiful reminder of the craziness, fun and wonder of growing up in a home where there is lots of love.

I got a little bit choked up thinking of how grown-up the kids have become. When did that happen??

Jennibell said...

Know you must be living a crazy, busy life and glad you check in once in awhile. Like the Bass Family said, you're just a bit before me in kid-ages and reading about your life is always a reminder to savor these days NOW!!
I am long-term substitute teaching at a high school right now and last week I was walking through the hallways at lunch and texted my husband. . .our oldest will be here in 3 years!!! Wow!!! How did we get here so quickly?!? You with a 17-yr-old. . .I could just cry thinking about it. . .but we have given them roots and are commanded to give them wings too, huh?

Cathy said...

Wow...sooo glad to hear from you...our lives are soooo very similiar...mine are 17y, 14y, 12y, 9y, and 6y....I know we connected via email before. I love to know that I am not alone...thank you for sharing!

Debbie said...

Thanks for sharing what's going on in the "Raising Five" family right now. It's amazing to think that your kids are that old already. Wow! How did that happen so quickly. I now have a teen, 2 tweens, a 6yo, and a 3yo. Can't believe mine are this big. It is all flying by faster & faster each year. Your family life sounds very busy, but very fun and loving. Hope you have a great weekend!