But where are your children?
Off and on for the entire month of June, our family has been in the process of tackling this cross-country move. There has been stress, travel, excitement, anxiety, and a whole lot of “we’ll see when we get there.”
Oh, and by the way, ‘this process’ won’t even be somewhat-finished until the first week of August, when we finally move into our new house, and our household goods arrive. In the meantime, we spend a lot of time crashing at our parents’ houses and sleeping in hotels. Alan is actually living in a hotel right now, and while his classes haven’t started yet, there is already a lot of preparatory work to do. Hang in there, Honey!!
There’s one question that kept coming up, as we packed up our things, drove across the country, and went house hunting.
“But where are your children??”
We felt so funny without them that we would feel the need to tell people who didn’t care at all, “It’s not normally just us. We do have kids–four boys, but they are in Alabama with our parents while we work this transition.”
This past Sunday we visited a church in our new area, and as we walked in, just the two of us (so weird!) to ask where to go, we knew they were looking us over to decide which Sunday School class to send us to. The nice ‘welcome committee’ lady decided the “class with several young military couples” would be best. As Alan and I headed up the stairs to this class that the powers that be had specially selected for us, we both were thinking, “oh no, they don’t know the real us!! What if they think we are younger than we are? What if this is more of a college/career/newlywed type group when we are the embodiment of the ’30s/parenting class? They think we are young and free.”
We feel very much the opposite of young and free. Parenthood just does that to you. Don’t you think? Or is that just us? Either way, we feel busy and responsible all of the time. At the back of our minds, we are always crunching nap and feeding schedule and checking diapers. We are the kind of couple that can’t name any of today’s t.v. sitcoms or top 10 recording artists. Can you?
Thankfully, the Sunday School class turned out to be perfect. We were in our little military community, and it was a small class. Almost all of the people in there were also parents. It was a match. Phew!
The second week of June, the oldest three boys stayed with Alan’s parents, and we let JD stay with us. This worked out just fine. JD even got us all to himself for once.
Alan’s parents were wonderful. They drove up and met Alan halfway to get the boys, and they kept them busy, happy, and well fed. What more could you ask for? The boys got to go to a museum, visit their great-grandparents, their cousins, ride the lawnmower/golf cart thing, go to the movies, and do a ton of slip-n-sliding! Nonna worked so hard at keeping them from over-doing the electronics, as she knows how that bothers us. I felt bad about that, Nonna. I totally should’ve told you the “what happens at Nonna’s stays at Nonna’s philosophy” before your week so you could have felt less pressure.
I can honestly say that while we felt sad for them having to say good-bye to their friends, we were never the least bit worried about them because we knew Nonna and DaddyO were taking such good care of them.
Our boys go, non-stop, all day, so this is a job. DaddyO said the very first morning he barely opened one eye, sometime around 5am, and there was Caleb, just standing by his bed. Caleb whispered, “You know, it’s morning outside.”
They wake up early, and it doesn’t matter how late you keep them up at night, they wake up early.
We reunited with the boys after that week, spent a few days with our family in Alabama, and then hit the road again, this time leaving all four with my parents.
Mom and Dad, I never worried. I knew ya’ll would be just fine. I still cannot believe ya’ll braved the zoo in the Alabama heat with all four boys, but I am amazed.
Mom had the added difficulty of JD’s night time plans…
I hate to even admit this, but JD still wakes up one time a night for a bottle. I know. It’s a little depressing. He slept through the night for a few months there, and then that was over. I’ve tried lots of different things to change it, but the fact is that he wakes up for the calories, and if you fail to provide them at the one wake-up, he will just keep waking up every hour until you do, so we just go in armed with an 8 oz bottle.
Thankfully, this is our 4th baby, so while this would have caused us great stress with the first baby, this doesn’t even register in the ‘problem’ category at this point. At JD’s 1 year well baby appointment, they asked how he sleeps, and I said, “He wakes up once each night for a feeding.” The first nurse explained to the new nurse-in-training, “That’s normal at this age.”
Thank you!! Would someone please publish this for all new mothers who feel like they are failing because their baby has to have a midnight bottle? It’s normal. Just normal.
However, it does make the job harder, so I felt bad for my mom!!! She persevered. THANK you, Mom!!!! Oh, and there were a lot of rainy days, so thank you Mom and Dad, for handling all of the sibling conflicts. I did not miss that! The boys carried on their slip-n-slide fun at my parents’ house too. This will go down as the slip-n-slide summer.
The boys also went to an aviation museum (which was a huge hit with all four), as well as the library and the toy store. Between both sets of grandparents, Joshua, Caleb, Dan, and JD have had all the indoor lounging, video gaming, day trips, ice cream, and summer fun that anyone could ask for. I feel like my ‘bring the summer fun’ job is done for the year. Thanks ya’ll!!!
I know. We really do have the best two sets of parents ever.
Daniel is hilarious!
So today I was pushing Daniel on the swing outside, and we had this really great talk:
Me: Daniel, you are so precious. You know that? You are just so adorable and sweet and precious.
Daniel: …..talking softly…..no idea what he said….but smiling really really big
Me: I love you, Dan. I love you.
Dan: I love you, Mommy. …more soft talking…I want to go to your house. *****(He’s always called our house ‘mommy’s house’. I don’t know what that says about me, but that’s what he calls it….)*****
Me: Oh, Dan, we will. We are all going to go to a new house. We are going to have a new house, with new rooms. You will have a new room. I will have a new room. Your brothers will have a new room. It’ll be really great.
Daniel: I have troubles too. *Brother hit me, at the door, right there.
What a smart boy! Never underestimate your children!!