When I was in my late teens and early 20s I imagined my future life a certain way.
I was going to live on a ranch, with sprawling acres, fruit trees and horses. My home was meant to be a big white number with wraparound porches top and bottom, with, of course, swings on each side.
Always in this vision there were at least six little ones running around, slamming screen doors, hanging from tree limbs and tramping through our woods.
Now please, don't get me wrong, I think children are a blessing of the highest order, but I also think that it's quite possible that I'm not the saint I imagined myself to be.
3 boys get the better of my patience on a near daily basis. 3 boys are LOUD and they make a lot of mess. 3 boys each have such individual needs and it is HARD to find the time to honor each one, nurture each one, spend real time listening to each one. 3 boys are, I believe, my maximum mommy capacity.
As much as I miss my boys' baby days, as many times as I was reduced to tears yesterday, reliving my sweet dream of holding one of them again, I do believe that our family is complete.
It was awfully fun though to spend this past weekend getting a little glimpse of what might have been.
We had our three boy cousins over for a sleepover last Saturday.
SIX boys in one house! Oh my goodness!
There was nothing much to do but laugh at the sheer, sweet insanity that ensued.
Lunch alone was a circus.
"I don't like mustard or mayonnaise on mine!"
"I'll take both, and tomato."
"What kind of cheese is it?"
"I'd like just peanut butter, and can you toast it?"
"Jelly toast for me!"
"Peanut butter and jelly, not toasted please."
Oh my. You know those waiters who can just memorize your order and not write anything down?
Not me. I took notes.
I was reduced to using paper plates even, which actually worked out really nicely because I could write the boy's names in Sharpie on the plate, so that they'd know which was their order.
They had sharpie-scrawled names on their plastic cups too.
Six boys chasing chickens, asking for drinks, and crayons and snacks and more snacks. Six boys playing hide and seek, wanting to know when dinnertime would come, taking turns on bikes, papering my floor with drawings. Six sets of pajamas lined up. Six bowls of ice cream, six bodies crammed on the couch for "movie night." Six blobby gobs of toothpaste dripping off of six toothbrushes. Six goodnights, six little men giggling in the dark, six sweet dreams. Then, six for cinnamon rolls, six(teen) glasses of milk to wash them down. Six sets of church clothes laid out in order of age, six heads combed, six faces washed, six pairs of shoes playing hide and seek. Six little backsides needing every one of our seatbelts, six eager men delivered to six separate Sunday school rooms.
It was crazy good fun. Loud, sticky, phrenetic fun.
And in the end, I was left wondering how on earth I ever thought I could manage to mother six kids all the time.
As well behaved and fun as all our guys were, at the end of the day, I barely knew which end was up and couldn't have told you who brushed their teeth and who ate what and wether or not anyone was wearing underpants.
I'm sure we would have learned the ropes and gotten the hang of parenting six, if that was the hand that we were dealt, but at least in our case, I'm thinking that three of a kind is a full house 🙂