I have four extra children here this week-end! We don't usually join the slumber party circuit, but with adopted-as-niece-and-nephew friends we make an exception. The unfortunate thing is that these four are here because their folks are house-hunting in Oregon. We wish they weren't moving, but we are trying to adjust to the idea.
We are making the most of our time together, and in that spirit I grabbed the young girls for a Borders and Jamba Juice excursion last night. I wanted them to choose a book that we could read together over the weekend, and I wondered how three opinionated young ladies would make a decision before Borders closed. I was surprised -- they all immediately agreed that they wanted to hear:
Little House by Boston Bay (Little House The Charlotte Years)
It helps that they are all in the prairie phase of reading! We began reading last night, right after I tucked them into their beds in the downstairs bedroom. It was a real treat to have the extra girls for our bedtime routine; I like hearing their questions, seeing what they think about as they try to go to sleep. I was happy to be trusted as the one to tuck them in, give them a kiss and hug, and wish them sweet dreams. I like being an auntie.
Today our plans include Boy Scout popcorn selling in front of the grocery store (ugh - I do not like fundraising), and the boys are going to have their own outing afterwards. It is my oldest son's birthday next week, and he and his brothers and friends are going to go drive little race cars around a track. It will be a few minutes of bliss for the boy who, at the age of three, woke me up in the middle of the night to ask how old he had to be to drive.
The girls have been outside in the play house, climbing in trees, and wearing the fanciest dresses they could find in the dress-up supplies. There is some imaginary world going on here, but I have not been given the inside scoop. They sure are cute, though. My young daughter has been planning an elaborate autumnal tea party, so that will be their supper. My job will be to read, read, read in our special book. An all-girl evening -- what a fun plan.
You'd think that adding four children to a family with five of their own would create something akin to chaos. But, somehow the noise level has decreased, and everyone is happily occupied with all sorts of things. The special, out-on-the-town events, plus the simple fun of dress-up, and a new ramp for bike jumping down in the garden (don't worry -- it is a fallow year for the garden!) From time-to-time people wander through, hungry or thirsty, but then they continue on to the next bit of fun. It makes for lots of quiet for a Mama, and I appreciate the quiet pause.
When I came home from the hospital with my fifth child, I knew in my heart that all of us were home, that our table was full; it was a nice feeling. But, having a growing extended family is an unexpected treat. I am happy to have friends that call me Auntie, and a house filled with the buzz of creative and happily occupied children.
Now, if we can just get them to sleep tonight.