Party of Five
If life has a sense of humor, I’m pretty sure I’m the butt of its jokes.
Take for instance children. I had two: a girl-child and a boy-child who grew up happy, healthy, and strong despite my need for regular depression and anti-anxiety medication.
They both graduated from high school, both are enrolled in college and are working, productive neo-adults. I’m terribly proud of them both.
My husband and I should be tending an empty nest.
But eighteen-months ago, my husband’s little sister and her five children came into our house with just the clothes on their backs.
And chaos ensued.
See, with two kids you have a hand for each one. There’s easy rotations for the prime seat in the car (even and odd days). There’s always at least one parent who can drive to activities.
Five kids, however, things become sketchy. Nothing is easy. Everything is subject to change. And there’s always someone causing a distraction while another is up to mischief.
Just ask the plumber who has fixed the toilets clogged with “something down there” three times this year, or look at the backyard where our turf, carefully installed two years ago, is torn up in pursuit of bugs (which aren’t allowed in the house, but somehow make it anyway).
Last month all the food in our deep-freezer had to be thrown out after it was left open, probably during a clandestine mission for Otter-Pops.
And it’s not uncommon to sit down on the couch and ask, “Did someone spill something here or did someone pee?”
If you’re alive at the end of the day, that’s success.
As Aunt Nichole, I can turn them over to their mother, who expertly juggles problems big and small and somehow gets them all fed, bathed, and off to bed.
Sometimes I get exhausted just watching her do it.
Yet despite the fact I thought two kids were all I could ever handle, I must say these five have got their fists around my heart and have made me willing to change poopy Pull-ups again.
That’s really saying something.
There’s more adventure with five, but the love multiplies, too. I see it when the three littles all crowd on my husband’s lap when he’s trying to work at his computer. It’s there when the two bigs stay up laughing, playing card games. Or when they all come together when a sibling is upset or needs help.
There’s definitely more laughter than tears in this house.
And my two? They join into the melee when they are here, seamlessly jumping in to correct the littles, to mentor the bigs, and to encourage me to buy out the baby
department at Target, because we’re all here to help.
And shouldn’t we have fun doing it?