6 more days...Do you hear that? 6 MORE DAYS!!!! 6 days? I know that you are wondering what in the world I am talking about. Come on, admit it! Ok, I'll tell you! In 6 days I will be boarding an airplane with my mom, dad and sister and flying to Florida. Yes folks, Florida! We will be laying on our cabanas on the gorgeous beach, listening to the melodic sounds of the ocean. I can read, swim, even sleep if I want to. I will not be applying gallons of sunscreen to wiggling, squirming, impatient kids. I will not be constantly counting heads to make sure that all 9 of my kids are accounted for. I will not be rinsing sand out of a screaming toddler's eyes, mouth, or ears. (Feel free to substitute any orifice here.) I will not be picking sand out of PBJ or rinsing off a dropped lollipop. Nope, I won't be doing any of that. I will be peacefully basking in the glorious sun, without a care in the world!
Well, I might have a few cares. I am frantically trying to get my house super cleaned (no easy task with all of the "help" that I get from the three stooges, Noah, Aiden and JP), laundry completed (pretty much an impossible task here, but I am getting soooo close that I can smell the fabric softener), menu planned and some meals prepared. I am committed to making things as organized and as simple as possible for my husband. (I am sure that his spot in heaven will be solidified by the time that I get home.) Normally things are crazy and chaotic around here with both of us going full speed. I can't imagine what it is going to be like for him to man the fort by himself for 6 days. The thing is that even if I get my entire 4 page to do list finished before I leave, he will still have to keep things going. Not to mention the fact that we are in the tail end of baseball season for two boys. Everyone will be out of school for the summer. All three of the big kids, ( ie. the relief staff) have not one, but 2 summer jobs. We are in the middle of a complete bathroom remodel. ( I mean seriously complete remodel. We are talking new walls, ceiling, tub, sink, toilet. If it was in there two weeks ago, it is now in a pile on our driveway.) And to complicate things even more, my two oldest, the other drivers, have both been selected to attend a week long leadership conference at Westminster. (A HUGE honor! We are very, very proud of them!) Guess when...Yep! They have to be there for three of the days that I will be gone. Oh yeah, and it's basically the worst possible time for Brian to take off work.
(Insert long drawn out sigh here.) I am trying really hard not to think about the insanity that my husband will be going through so that I can have a little vacation. I need this vacation. I need a few days away from my crazies. I love them to pieces and I wouldn't change one thing about my life, but a break would be really nice. I am so very, very grateful to my parents for inviting my sister and I. I am really looking forward to spending some time with them without the kids around. I am excited to get to hang out with my sister without the constant interruptions of "Mom, he touched me!" or "Peazy bit me!" I am really looking forward to a queen sized bed all to myself! (Holy Moly!) I will get to eat a hot meal without having to cut up food for someone else. (As long as my dad doesn't need me to. :) ) The feeling of sand between my toes, a morning walk along the beach, the warm sunshine on my shoulders (There is a reason that John Denver wrote a song about that!), those are the things that I am looking forward to.
But if I am being completely honest, I am also looking forward to missing my kids a little bit. Being a stay at home mom is such a blessing, but it can be overwhelming and exhausting. There are days when I think that the best way of parenting would be to duct tape my little kids to the wall to keep them from getting into everything. There are days when I would like to duct tape my big kids mouths shut, for all of our sakes. There are days when it seems like all that I have done all day is change diapers and wipe lipstick hand prints off of the walls after cleaning up a box of dumped cereal. There are days when I could get in the van and go far, far away and never come back. So it would be nice to start the summer off on a good note. I will be refreshed, relaxed and missing my little munchkins and my big ones too. It will be nice to appreciate them for the blessings that they are. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all of that. I am looking forward to getting them little souvenirs or t-shirts or in Aiden's case a coconut. I am excited to call them and face time them and feel that little tug at my heart when they squeal "Hi Mommy!" I am excited to be excited about being at home with them for the summer. Sooooo to prepare for a summer of Popsicles and trips to the pool, to get ready for bug bites and camp outs, in preparation for trips to the park and summertime chores...here I come Florida!!!! Bring on the cabana!
Please pray for my husband. Amen.