The Countdown Is ON

I know I’m not the only mom counting down the days till the start of school. My older kids have really loved going to camp at our town this year, but it ended last week and I’ve been watching the days drag by ever since. I got used to having a nice chunk of my day with just me and Sydney. It has been bliss compared to this week. Thanks to mostly cruddy weather, my gang has been stuck inside for most of the day and Sydney has recently decided that she misses the womb and wants to spend every second on top of me to get as close as she can to her former home.

First day of camp
Hannah and Jay on the first day of camp.

Becoming Co-conspirators

On the plus side, I had forgotten just how many things I can do with one hand – open doors, cook dinner, shove laundry into the dryer, but my frustration level is going through the roof. Sydney has spent the better half of the last two days sleeping in the baby carrier while I do housework. My son loves the baby dearly, but he attempts to spend every second of the day touching and kissing her, even while I’m trying to feed her or while she’s crying her head off. I wish I could come up with things to keep my older kids busy, but the only time they like to play with toys is when they have friends over. That worked for two days this week when I watched my neighbor’s daughter, but now we’re back to watching TV, tattling on each other and finding new ways to torture each other.

It’s sad when you look forward to the day you’re kids will realize that having each other is a valuable tool they can use to “get one over on mom and dad.” When they start working together, I know we’re in trouble, but lately I pray for that day to come quicker. Hopefully they will go to each other with problems they don’t feel comfortable coming to us with during those awkward teen years. I also hope that the secrets that they keep with each other aren’t ones that would cause too much damage.

Jay Kissing Sydney
Sibling love at first sight.

From Duo To Trio

I worried how my kids would react when I told them I was pregnant with Sydney. They seemed fine about it, though excitement took longer to kick in. When they met her for the first time, it was love at first sight. The other day my son said to me at dinner – “Are we going to have more babies?” He pointed out that there was indeed one extra chair at our dinning room table. I can’t fathom it at this moment, yet I also can’t say with all certainty that it’s out of the realm of possibility. My husband did strike the deal with me before we decided to have a third that I had to be open to the possibility of having a fourth. I’ll admit for a few minutes at the fair a few weeks ago I took a mental note that Hannah and Jay can go on rides together and Syd will have no partner when she gets old enough. That’s a decision for another day -very far in the future.

Hannah & Jay at Fair
Ride partners at the Wayne County Fair.

Siblings By Blood, But Friends By Choice

I can’t say I have a good relationship with my brother and my step-sister and I get along, but don’t see each other that often. Yet something truly changed my view on siblings while watching my husband and his sisters go through the loss of their mom. They were there for each other. They shared memories and comforted each other. When my own mother died I’d like to say my brother and I came together the same way, but we didn’t. Still having lost both my parents and my in-laws, it made me even more aware that some day (hopefully many many years in the future) my own children will lose us. When that day comes, I hope they turn to each other. I hope they share memories and stories and even make fun of us a little bit. They will share a bond that nobody else can. They are siblings by blood, but I hope they will be friends by choice.

library kits
Hannah and Jay reading together.

Love Exists Even In The Chaos

Somewhere in the midst of the chaos is love. I try to remind myself of this on days when they are fighting, yelling, and tattling. It’s a bond that they’ll have for life, even if they don’t always want it. I have to remind myself that the love is there, even when I’m frustrated that my son won’t stop kissing the baby long enough for me to feed her or my daughter is trying to help me “parent” my son. I need to listen for it in the laughter when they play nicely together. One day I’ll hear it when someone tries to be mean to one of them, and a sibling will stand up and defend the other. That’s what siblings are for after all. I think it’s what we all hope for when we decide to have another child. I’ll admit that sometimes I’m jealous of moms with only one child and the vastly quieter house they must have, but for me I know in my heart that the greatest gift I ever gave my children was each other.