7 hockey practices a week.
10 hockey games a week.
2 gymnastics practices.
3 days of Parent Participation Preschool.
1 each PAC Meeting, Bible Study, Church Service, Nursery
21 meals for 8 (or 9 if the neighbour kid shows up again) to prepare. 21 snacks for many to provide.
1 trip to the bathroom every 20 minutes for every waking hour of the day for each girl, spaced 10 minutes apart just to keep things interesting.
And somewhere in there I have to grocery shop, do laundry, parent (ugh! Teenagers! ugh!) and then try to remember I blog.
Things have been busy. Some good. Some bad. Some awful. Some wonderful. My parenting skills have been stretched and my ability to take care of myself enhanced. I am learning to reach out more to those who have walked this road before me. Honestly, I did not understand how emotionally devastating parenting teenagers could be. And not because they are doing anything BAD but simply just by the their very existence in a brain disordered state of craziness that is apparently perfectly normal when you are a teen. And perfectly horrifying when you are a mom.
I love my children but these prickly porcupine alien creatures who have taken over their bodies? They can leave anytime and give me back my sanity when they do. What makes me cry is to realize that before I am done, I will have been parenting teenagers for 21 straight years. If am this exhausted 3 years into it, who or what will I be in another 18 years? The gray hair is quite literally popping onto my head.
We are seizing the moments between hockey trips to squeeze in good memories and celebrate the joy that comes in raising a large family. There will be a time, short months or years away when I will ache for all my children to be sleeping under one roof. I know that. I know it at a cellular level and so I remind myself to be present. I am a good mom. I love my children more than my own life. I know, deep down behind their resentment of my mere presence and horrific insistence of eating supper together and not beating up their brothers, that they love me too. I have been told that chances are the aliens inhabiting will leave and my God-fearing, kind, sweet and loving sons will return, although much older, wiser and hopefully living independently and paying their own bills. A mother is allowed to dream.
Enjoy the happy moments!