Monday, 5 January 2015

6 Left in the Nest Feels Too Empty Tonight

  Having 18 kids ranging in age from 41 (sorry Marg) to 10 means that we have launched quite a few of them into adulthood. Eleven of them actually.  I firmly believe that it is as arduous as birthing a child, although easier on your body, it is hard on the heart.  Every time one of my kids leave, my world changes. Less laundry, less dinner plates, less talks, less mess, less hugs. Each time is so hard.
  Yesterday we drove Grace to Baltimore. At age 21, she has left her life behind to live with her sister and be the full time nanny to my granddaughter that needs a home. She said at our last dinner together that she felt God had prepared her for this. I know he gave her an amazing ability to love without judgement.
  As we drove away I did all my tricks to not break down and cry. I miss my Grace. She has been my worry since her birth with a brain tumor, through her kidney transplant and so much more. I don't know yet how to not worry about her. Maybe I just need a good cry and then let God take over. You'll do it right, won't you God?

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Not a Good Junkie

   Five days out from a complete knee replacement I have made a few discoveries, the most significant being my inability to use narcotics. Although they are a necessity for healing and rehab, I find the feeling of altered awareness to be awkward. Never claiming to be normal (my life is proof), this crazy is....crazy.
 We had to go to the grocery store today, and not being able to drive, Isaiah gladly offered to take me. Walmart must emit some high pitched undetectable by human ears
sound when I plan to go. Every child comes running. To shop. Boys. I don't get it. (All of this does relate to the junkie part - just setting the stage.)
 After bumping elbows and carts with half of the people we know, all nine of us head out to the van. The kids take care of putting the groceries in the back while I climb in the passenger seat and Ezra takes my wheelchair back to the store.
  While traveling home I notice I had missed three calls from Walmart. I call back three times, give them my name and ask if they were calling because I had forgotten my wallet or something. The third time the lady informs me, "Honey, Walmart doesn't call people." Okay, ouch, I'm stupid.
  The kids unpacked the car and I came in and sat down to rest my poor knee when the phone rang. It was the secretary at my church. She drops the bomb. "Kate, my daughter is at Walmart with a police officer and Ezra.  You forgot him." I was shocked. We all were. No one had even noticed him missing and we live a half hour from the store.(I think this is Ezra's least favorite and most repeated part of the story. "You mean NOBODY noticed I was missing?")
  I spoke to the officer who didn't find any of this as amusing as I did and we were able to retrieve him. Ezra said the officer asked him if his mother had gotten mad at him while at the store. (No, actually I'm just that bad a junkie apparently.) 
 Now I'm on this pain medicine which is my excuse....did you notice how many other people were in the van with me? 

Saturday, 2 August 2014

That Kind of Love

   Today we made a trip to visit our boys very amazing biological mom. She made the choice a few years ago to let them live with us...a choice I know must have been more than difficult, but motivated by an unselfish love. She is involved with the boys, calling and sending cards and gifts. 
  We have become good friends over the years and I will always be thankful to her for allowing me to be part of their family.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Under the Sea with Maddy

  Upstairs in our house we have a girl's bathroom and a boy's bathroom and the boys don't go in the girl's and the girls don't go in the boy's.  It's a rule. 
  A few weeks ago our 2 year old granddaughter had to move in with us and as is often the case with grand kids, the rules change.(If you're a grand parent, you know it's true.)

 Maddy shares the boy's bathroom with them. Not only is their bathroom larger, it's also....cleaner. (sorry girls) Maddy's uncles have been very kind and tolerant. They have put up with all the things that come with a little girl - without complaint. They're even getting used to showering with mermaids. 

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Under the Stars

Camping out in the backyard is just as good as any campground for my boys. It only requires a few tents, a fire in the fire pit, lots of sticks and hot dogs and marshmallows. Oh, and someone willing to camp with them. Tents are way less comfortable at my age but I couldn't resist their enthusiasm or the sounds of the night.

  We started talking as we sat around the campfire and we went from scary stories (mine) to the boys telling me about what they loved, times when they failed at something, who they wanted to marry and what was important to them. It was a sweet time listening to these boy’s hearts and I wouldn't have traded it for all the king size comfortable beds in the world. 

 Well, maybe.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Testing the Edge of the Nest

  When our babies are new, we can't even think of leaving them with anyone. I don't think we had a sitter for my girls until they were about 6 and 7.
  But God has a way of preparing our children so that by the time they're ready to go out on their own as adults, it's not all that bad.

  Summer camp gives me a little taste of that.  Our three middles are off for the week at church camp and as I waved goodbye I thought about each one.                                                                                            Isaiah - I'll miss his very quiet, hysterically funny humor.  I won't miss teaching him to drive and wondering if he thinks it's okay to not put the brakes on until he's almost inside the trunk of the car ahead of us. 

Emma - I'll miss her wild, fun craziness. I won't miss her 16 year old girls moods.

Elijah - I'll miss his sweet hugs and kisses. I won't miss........actually he doesn't really annoy me at all.  Guess because he's much further from leaving the nest.

Enjoy the week my loves and don't grow up too quick.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Just Today

There is something sad about opening your calendar to the month of August to add an event. 
There it is in black and white....the end of summer.
Not once, before I turned 18 was there even a reason to plan things three months in advance - summer seemed endless.
Now I have to know who has camp which week, when everyone has a doctor appointment and when we start school again. 
Really sad.
So I try hard to not let any part of summer slip away.
I always say "yes" to swimming with the kids. The tents and lanterns get pulled out and we sleep outside in the backyard. 
Summer slows down when we hunt for raspberries along the road to put in our yogurt.
Summer and berries are only here for a moment.