During those seven weeks, I can count on one hand the amount of days that I've had all three of my children at home with me under our roof.
Butter went to go stay with my parents the first couple of weeks and then came back when summer school started. That's when Peanut took his place at my parents for the duration of summer school, because she didn't want to go. Peanut stayed until the 4th of July and then she came back and Butter went back again. During that time, Jelly went off to stay with P-Momma.
Wednesday, Butter came home and Thursday he went off to P-Momma's Jelly went to my parents yesterday. Both kids will be gone until Thursday and Friday of next week.
It's been like a revolving door of children.
One comes in, another (sometimes two) goes out.
And, the weird part is, no matter how many kids are off at various family members house's, I always seem to end up with just as many - if not more children in my house.
When Butter goes away, Peanut's friend will come stay. When Peanut is away, my brother comes to stay. I had my nephew for the weekend last weekend to stay with Jelly, and I currently have my brother and two of Peanut's friends staying.
Two children leave, three come in.
And later today, my sister and her boyfriend are coming over to spend the night. Not exactly children, but still "young-uns". So there will be five of them all playing in the pool or playing video games or hanging out and listening to music.
I should hang a sign up over my front door that says "Camp Jo"... cause that's kinda what it feels like.
Not that I mind, of course.
Kids coming and going is a part of the summer I enjoy. I want my kids to go and spend time with family members and friends, I want my kids to have people over to stay with us.
The truth is, this is the first summer EVER that's really happened. I've had my brother come stay with me for years, but that's about the only family member that was really OK with staying at my old house. Not that he particularly cared for my old house, but he knew that when he came over I'd spend a good amount of time out and about doing various stuff...and he always liked that.
Now, our children are eager and excited about hosting people at our new home. They have room to play. They have a place to swim. They can hang out in the living room or their bedrooms and have space for some privacy. It's such a different dynamic.
For so many years, I'd send my kids off on weekend visits with friends and family and know that I could never do that... because my kids NEVER wanted friends to come stay with them in that house. They were embarrassed. They were uncomfortable about the idea. Not just because of how horrible the house was, but because they knew full well that any friend would have to spend time locked in a bedroom because that was about the only place they could "do their own thing". But, Peanut never wanted to do that because she shared a room with Jelly...and knew that her little sister would be in there the entire time wanting to be involved in the big girl activities.
Having our kids come and go, and additional kids taking the place of the absent ones also provides more family time. As silly as that sounds. But, it's true.
Take last night for example. Butter and Jelly are gone. Two of Peanut's friends have temporarily taken their place. My brother is here to spend time with Hubby and I, but he also doesn't mind the company of Peanut and her friends. The kids all went out and spent a couple of hours in the pool together. When they came in, the entire lot of us hooked up two TVs and played video games together. Peanut and her friends in her room on her TV versus Hubby, my brother, and I on the TV in the living room. Battling it out against each other playing the video game.
It was a video game I'd never played before... but it was fun. I got my behind handed to me in a golden basket, but I didn't care. Just knowing that Peanut was OK with including her parents in to her friends' fun made me feel good.
After her father and I went to bed, the kids could use the living room to watch movies and play games... because our room is now at the other end of the house instead of attached to the living room.. so it doesn't bother us a bit.
Hubby has never been one for entertaining... especially kids or teenagers... but even he seems to have been totally OK with the coming and going that has gone on for seven weeks.
It all makes me very happy. While I miss my kids when they are away... I know that they are in good hands and enjoying themselves. When my kids are home... I like to think that friends' parents know that their children are in good hands and are enjoying themselves.
It's weird to think that in just three weeks, I'll be heading back to work. The first day of school isn't until August 15th.. but a teacher has to go back WAY before the first day. My room won't set it's self up.
So, for three more weeks I'll continue doing what I'm doing - having fun with my kids, and the visiting children in my home. And praying that Father Time slows his clock down a little.
Right now, though, I have to get ready for the additional company that is arriving in less than two hours.
No rest for the wicked... or amazingly awesome! HA!