It was great having everyone under the same roof...at least when they were all actually here! I think we could make up some great math word problems:
If Jon is out with his girlfriend from a to b,
and Andrew is out with his friend from c to d,
and Mike needs to work on his paper from e to f,
and Jay, Luke and Kate all fall asleep on the couch at 8,
at what 10 minute interval can mom experience family time with all her children?
OK...that is partly an exaggeration, but not completely! I had all these possible ideas in my head for "family time" but I did need to work around friends, a girlfriend, homework time, a youth group meeting, a pizza tour in Boston for Andrew and Jay, and, of course, bed time!
In the end, there were pockets of 'small group' family time, and our one 'whole family' apple picking outing late Sunday morning. The apple picking was fine, don't get me wrong. It's just with the kids getting older, there isn't the same level of enthusiasm that used to be there. This was the first year that I had to tell them we needed more apples...they used to pick so much I worried that I didn't bring enough money to pay for it all!
(It didn't help that Luke spent most of the time taste testing the apples either!)
It made me feel sad....because it's a reminder about how things are changing. I want so badly to have special family time and make more memories all together because I see the writing on the wall as clear as day:
"THESE CHILDREN ARE GROWING UP AND OUT! THERE ISN'T MUCH TIME LEFT!"
What seems silly to some of the older boys, has so much meaning for me. Being all together, making memories, having traditions is so important because we are at a point when the boys are splitting off and making their own memories with friends and, before too long, they could find "the one" and start families of their own. And while that is normal and will be exciting and a huge blessing for our family as a whole, it will change the way our family looks forever.
I guess I'm just not quite ready to let go of our "little" family filled with children that aren't quite so little anymore!
Idk...maybe I just put too much pressure on myself, but for a while now, I just feel like I need to soak all these family times in and try to create opportunities to make as many family memories as I can. It's not easy with so many different ages, personalities, and tolerances for each other! The lack of time, the difficulty of coordinating so many different schedules, and the frequently present lack of funds, makes planning family time incredibly difficult!
Yet, the words from Steven Curtis Chapman's song "Cinderella" keep popping in my head....
"'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight,
And she'll be gone."
And, even though my sons might read this and say, "What the heck, Mom! That's a song about a girl!", the same sentiments hold true for sons. (And just so you know, Jay cannot listen to that song without tearing up! He probably teared up just reading those 2 lines! We are seriously going to need to tranquilize him when the girls get married!)
So, as you can see, I might be a tad emotional right now. I've also been having really weird dreams lately so I'm a little sleep deprived. And, writing this at 11:17 pm is probably not the best choice...but sometimes it's the only quiet time I get!
Anyway...change is hard is all I'm sayin'. It makes me want to just keep Luke and Kate little forever! (maybe that will make me feel better when they end up in my bed any minute!)
I promise the weekend wasn't just full of emotional blubbering!(only the occasional moment!:) I took lots of pictures this week and have happy/funny things to share with you! I will upload them all soon!
This week is just busy, busy, busy!