So, I noticed that I have not written much lately – which is actually a good thing. We have been busy but it has all felt fairly normal. For awhile there, I think it felt downright family-like. We took the kids on vacation to Disneyland. Six kids! Can you imagine? It was great and frantic and exhausting and expensive and wonderful and stressful.
Then my bonus kids left on a 13-day road adventure with their mom. Life became rather quiet and easy and clutter-free. We actually had two kids during that period. Justin stayed (perhaps obviously) and so did the oldest daughter. She has a summer job and could not afford to take 12 straight days away. Still, those two were so EASY. We fell into an easy rhythm. It was after all the two children who are most fond of me and with whom I have the most in common. Cooking for four is easy, laundry for four is easy, etc. We even spent one of the weekends cleaning out the garage and shampooing the carpets.
Then a couple of nights ago, the other kids arrived back home. First, they arrived at nearly 10 p.m. – which is of course well after bedtime for many of them. in the last 48 hours, we have done more laundry and dishes than in the previous two weeks combined. And as for that shampooed carpet, well, we can barely even see it anymore because there is so much “stuff” on the floor. The activity level and noise level are markedly different than they were. For me, it feels a lot like chaos and upheaval. It is a bit hard to readjust. My husband, of course, is thrilled. Finally all of his kids are back and he can see them and touch them and talk to them. But it is different being the stepparent. Not one of the four hugged me upon their return. Not one said, “So great to see you. I’ve missed you.” So, it is a little hard for me to find quite the same joy with the reentry process, as the rewards are much smaller and the work load is so much greater. So, there is a lot of additional strain between me and my husband. he can’t understand why it is hard on me. I can’t quite catch his joy. I am hoping that in another couple of weeks we will find our equilibrium again, but for the next few days it may be a bit bumpy.