Ah, summertime. A few years back, we would pack into our 15 passenger van, laden with coolers and strollers and play pens and beach umbrellas, with toy trucks and pails and shovels, 15 or 16 towels, and hit the beach. When it was time to go home, after packing all that stuff, plus the tired sandy kids, back into that big van, I would be hotter and sweatier than I was before we got to the beach in the first place. But the middle part was refreshing. When I wasn't sitting in the shade nursing a baby:)
Anyway. Life has evolved. I still have sixteen children, but all of them aren't "children" anymore. Four of them are nurses, two in the Army, one an accountant, one an artist....so that big van has been sitting in the driveway, leaning into it's flat tire, looking very depressed, not driven in months.
Ten of my kids can drive now, 9 with licenses, one with a permit.
So we have lots of littler vehicles.
Today, Samuel, who is home on leave, took some of his sisters (and cousin Olivia) out and about to the big mall in the big city.
Mirielle, one of the nurses, had the day off, so she took Jonathan and Charlotte Claire and Camille to a waterfalls...to hike to and play in.
Aaron came to visit me, then I left with just Abigail, and went to the beach. To the beach, with only my own lunch in a lunchpail. My chair, my towel, my sunscreen, waterbottle, and I was good to go. Abigail packed her own lunch:)
It was just too easy! We were out the door just like that! We found ourselves sitting there in the sun with nary a child to look after! We didn't need to face the water, to keep our eyes trained on swimming children, but could actually turn our chairs to face the sun. We talked and laughed and ate our un-sandy food. We swam at our leisure, and sat in the sun to get hot again. On the way home, shh, we stopped for ice cream. All by ourselves.
Home...the mall kids were home, some in the pool. I joined them, then Mirielle brought the little ones home, they joined us.
Dinner, youth meeting, now relaxing. Yes, more relaxing.
It is hot here in central New York state. It was hot today, hot and sunny. Our house is not air conditioned, and it is very warm in here. We have the fans on, and the hum is making me want to fall asleep. I don't know why I am so tired...
Well, I have an idea....see, last evening, we had a family gathering. Most of the kids were here, we had burgers on the grill and green beans and zucchini from Emily's garden, pasta salad, and brownies with homemade frosting, as per Sam's request.
Without getting into the details, I had to take Mali to the emergency room after dinner. (always wash that hair!). She has some heart problems, it skips and bumps along sometimes. She has had it checked out in the past, but it has been acting up, and last evening, it was acting up. She started having problems breathing, and we decided to go see what was going on. I drove as fast as I could without crashing, and even ran a red light, as her panic-y breathing was making me panic too.
She is okay, we found out after several hours and several tests, but really really has to follow up with a cardiologist to see if she is really fine.
Life is never dull, that's for sure.
And as much as I hated leaving everyone and heading to my most un-favorite place, I enjoyed my time with Mali. Once she was hooked up and started calming down and breathing more regularly, she was quite funny. They say nurses are the worst patients, but I am thinking they are probably the best. Mali knew what questions to ask, but didn't appreciate being on the receiving end of the needle.
It's scary when your heart thumps around like that, missing beats and doing funny things. I'm glad we had things checked out, and I am glad she is okay. When one of your kids is suffering or in danger, the importance of all other things just slips and slides right down to nothing. I was praying on the way to the hospital, believe me.
Anyway, life is good, and I am thankful. The kids are watching Bugs Bunny, and it's long past bed time. I love summer, just love it!!!
Cam just asked me if I loved her. Duh! I could not love her more! With their faces tanned and their hair streaked with sunshine, they look so healthy and sweet. They are pretty tired out from their busy day spend outside, Cam is stretched out on the couch.
I suppose I have rambled, but it seems to be what I do best. Believe me, my sunny mood isn't 100% natural. No, this very afternoon I had to really fight off an attack of the Feel Sorry For Me spirits. Poor me! I can't do anything right! Our pool isn't clear, our house isn't clean, our water is all mineral-y, the towels don't match, the freezer needs to be defrosted, I can't organize to save my life. Paul said one thing to me, one thing that wasn't meant to be rude, just an observation on his part, and Oh goodness, I was ticked off. My thoughts just took off, I was convinced within 5 minutes that I was a terrible mother, and that he just doesn't like me. Okay, I exaggerate a little, but. I was headed in the wrong direction, in my thoughts. Then a new thought came....to be thankful. To ask God for help, that I could be changed in these things, that I could hold on to what is good.
Now I get to tuck in the princesses...