A few years ago, one of my sons implored me to never stop blogging. "How will we ever know when we did things? Or remember our family stories if you don't write them down, Mom?" His plaintive request caught me totally off-guard. I didn't think he read the blog at all, or even really knew that I wrote. Especially since he was in an I-don't-care-about-this-family kind of stage. So I kept writing. Every now and then, life gets crazy and other things are more important than writing, so I pause. But I miss it. It's hard to jump back in and not feel guilty that there are things that I didn't record that I wanted to - that's why the pauses last longer than I want them to. I feel like I have to play catch-up before I can jump back into today.
In the past half year, we have gone from Mom and Dad, six kids and Opa, with two missionaries out, to both missionaries home and eleven people in this house! At the end of the summer we had a wedding and two other boys going away to college, so we were down three. David and Eddie were happy to move into Chris's old bedroom (it has a window!), and the twins got to move out of the room they shared with Angel. Yes, we had eight children in three bedrooms for a while - although some of the older boys preferred to couch-surf rather than sleep downstairs. It seems funny to say that the house is quieter and feels empty now, because there are still five kids plus two parents plus a grandparent who still eat, sleep, and hang out on the premises.
But it is a little empty. Alec and his new bride have a cozy little apartment a few towns over, and seem to be living happily. Do we need a bloggy name for her? Does it need to match up with Alec's letter A, or should we begin with B since that is the next girl name in the alphabet after Angel? Let's call her Belle, just for fun, and because it fits her. Ben's university is in the next town over from the university Chris chose, so they are sharing an apartment and commuting. I love to hear them tease and bicker over bedtimes and groceries, and I'm glad they have each other. My mother-heart has grown a few sizes to include a new family member, and to love my boys as the adults they are becoming. I pray every night that they will all find real happiness and fulfillment in their chosen areas.
David is a sophomore this year, so I have him in the nest for two more years while he grows his flight-feathers. I'm so impressed with how he handles the challenges he faces, and how he determinedly gets back up every time. He is learning such good things! Eddie is in eighth grade and finding his groove in his studies and groups of friends. He and David clash on a regular basis over the standard sibling things, but I'm glad that they like each other anyway and manage to set things straight. If we could figure out how to simultaneously play music and have quiet; turn the lights on and have dark, we would be a thousand times more peaceful. And rich, if we could sell that technology!
Our Angel is eight and thriving in second grade. Her social butterflightiness (can I combine "social butterfly" and "flightiness"?) is calming down several notches, and she spends a great deal of time writing and drawing pictures, or playing school with her little brothers. When she has been quiet for a long time, I know her imagination has been captured by a good book. Freddie and Georgie are in the first grade. Gone all day! I love to hear the commotion that descends upon the house when the three of them come tramping in after school. And then my mother-heart is happy: my children are home!
Yes, dear son, I'll keep blogging. There are so many things for me to write about and I miss it when I don't. We have a great family, don't you think? If I don't jot down the things I am ever so grateful for, then I forget.
And I don't ever want to forget.