Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Joyful Mystery of a Full House

My baby and my almost  teen

I have entered a new landscape now as far as my children and household are concerned.  When I began this blog, eight years ago, I had seven children, ages 11 to 1.  I was busy, exhausted, isolated, overwhelmed, but very interested in gardening, iconography, decorating and writing.  I had a quiet house by 8:00pm every night, and total control over our schedule.  Everyone was home schooled then, no one went anywhere or did anything unless I took them, or invited and prepared for company.

Now, I have 9 children, ages 19 to 1.  My house is almost never quiet, as I have a college student and two upper classmen in high school who do homework and studying into the wee hours.  The little kids wake up at the crack of dawn, and I try to cram sleep in between for myself the best I can.  We have become "that house",  you know the one, where all the kids congregate.  I never know for certain how many people will be eating with us, or sleeping over, popping by.  I do not mind that our home is one of hospitality, but I must be willing to keep my balance on the shifting sands of our life.  I guess you could say that through the years I have had to develop good sea legs to keep my balance.

I'll have another child graduating from High School this year.  When my eldest graduated, I was seven months pregnant, and could only absorb the event as a calendar obligation.  I told family, a few friends, I bought a cake, we got him a card, and took a few pictures, but I could not get "into it" at all.  And that has been my struggle with a family this size.  I have kids moving in and out of every stage of life concurrently.  I want to soak it up, but I just can not.  The best I can do is notice the preciousness of each day, one encounter at a time, maybe make a note of it, maybe a photo, but more than likely, the moment will be fleeting and then will disappear into the ether of the past.  The rate of precious moments disappearing down the memory hole makes me so very melancholy at times, so grateful for the abundance at other times.  It is more than I can grasp.

My life has more joy that I can hold,  more work than I can do, and more love than I can actually make any sense of.  I have had people ask me, "How do you do this?  How can you keep it up?"  I don't actually know the answer about how, except One Day At A Time, with a very firm foundation of love, and a deep belief in the goodness of what (or Who) our family reflects.  As my husband and I were discussing our life yesterday, and he commented that I seem to worry less, even as the number of people to worry about has increased, and the number of things outside my control has increased (can you say teenagers driving, being driven by friends, going on trips, and so on?).  I replied, "I guess I just have to trust God, because I don't have time to do anything else."  We will deal with each day, along with its events both expected and unexpected, and trust that Our Lord will see us through.  And that is all I've got at this point. 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Renee,
I've missed reading your blog. I've caught up through your April post and Theo's birth! Congratulations!!! We are now in Utah instead of Toronto. I have a newish blog and miss the ol' blogging days. My niece is also on the paleo diet and has two daughters - her blog is on my sidebar "This Felicitous Life". She's 30 years old. Your writing is so beautiful. Thank you. Nice to "see" you again!


February 04, 2013  
Blogger Mimi said...

Amazing, isn't it? You are good people to be "that house" thank you!

February 05, 2013  
Blogger Elise said...

Keep Calm and Carry on! - You are the embodiment of this maxim!

February 09, 2013  
Blogger priest's wife - S.T./ Anne Boyd said...

trusting God...I am working on this! yesterday, we went to a high school meeting for my oldest (she'll be at this school in September)...time flies

February 13, 2013  
Blogger Perpetua Amatia said...

OMG I love this post. It's speaks to me. it gives me hope. I hope my house is this neat as yours when I have 9 children.

February 27, 2013  
Blogger Mother Mayhem said...

I miss you! *HUGS*

April 18, 2013  

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