March 15, 2010


What do you think a couple of our marital status might do when, for the first time since 1994, we have the house all to ourselves while the kids are away for the weekend?

In a rare, actually the very first ever, occasion our kids went to our best friends house to stay the night celebrating their daughter's 10th birthday.  Little Emma was not comfortable going alone and our friends, who are like-minded as us on the idea of sleepovers and such knew that we would not be comfortable with the kids staying over at their house with children we did not know.  So they opted to invite our whole family instead and have an instant sleepover/Narnia/birthday party.

To say the kids were excited would be a gross understatement.  Between the spring weather and the prospect of their weekend plans, the excitement was too much to contain last week.  In fact, on Friday, Samuel asked me literally every ten minutes to check my watch and see if it was time to go yet. For weeks we debated how to spend the evening, although the options were limited since we still had Elisabeth and with our babysitters away that meant we were on duty. 

We settled for a candlelight dinner for three.  I was going to make Allen a special dinner but he beat me to it by planning a multi course meal complete with soup, dessert and sparkling cider.  But that is NOT the point of this post. 

What is it then???  The sound of the QUIET!  It was pouring down rain all evening and through the night and that was nice enough.  But here's the thing.  We could hear cars going by.  The refrigerator making ice.  The water pump in the basement turning on and off.  Things I have never noticed before-or at least not in a long time.  I could even hear the clock in the kitchen going, "Tick.  Tick.  Tick."  I DIDN'T EVEN REMEMBER WE HAD A CLOCK IN THE KITCHEN!

I know what you are thinking.  It must have been nice all that peace and quiet.  NOT!  It was horrible.  It drove me crazy.  I couldn't even think straight.  And to make matters worse, all I could think about was that someday all my children will be grown and it will be like this ALL THE TIME! 

I don't think I can stand it.  I don't think Allen can stand me when we get to that point.  I know many people who can't wait for their kids to get grown so they can do "their" thing.  But, the fact of the matter is, I like it here.  The way it is.  I like the craziness.  Even though, I try to train them not to all talk at once, I would rather 7 kids shouting across the kitchen table to the silence.   I enjoy people hopping on my bed to  chit chat at 11:30 at night.  I love snuggles when the sun comes up.  It was hard to go to sleep without the girls gabbing across the hall at a thousand miles a minute. 

Before the blizzard in February I was out running my normal Thursday errands.  Getting my hair done, allergy shots, groceries... every where I went all people talked about was what on earth they would do being stuck at home with their kids all weekend.  One woman commented on her need to stop at the liquor store and another said she had gone to walmart and filled a box with new toys to keep the kids happy.  Yet, another had gone to buy videos to see them through.

I can not imagine how a family who live together in the same house and theoretically must see each other at some point can be so overwhelmed at the thought of being in the same house together all at the same time for a few days in a row.  I say, "Bring it on!"  Our family saves all year for a few weeks of vacation in an isolated house on the back river where we can all be together uninterrupted, just us!  I can't fathom thinking so little of your family, your children that you brought into this world and raised.  Especially, at this time of my life when my nursery sits empty for the first time in my married life and we are planning our KK's graduation. 

And that is why the one thought that kept going through my mind all weekend was... "The silence!  The awful quiet!  Oh, dear Lord, please make it stop!"  As long as He sees fit, I will gladly welcome all of it, the kids, the laughter the tears and the racket that goes along with it.   




  1. The silence is hard. We are down to one and cherish it when they all come to visit or we have our granddaughter for the weekend....we like the laughs and giggles...and miss them when they are not here. I, too love being snowed in with my kids and or grans'.
    Blessings and hugs,

  2. Excellent post! Here's another one for you... I worked with a lady that bought a 7,000 sq foot house for her and her husband AFTER the kids moved out. Can you imagine???

  3. Carin,

    We often laugh at that concept. We know many people who have no children or one or two and live in houses double the size of ours or more so even. They are usually complaining about 1- their lack of space 2- their lack of money 3- their lack of ability to stay at home because they can not afford to live on one income. If we can manage 7 children (and not so long ago my brother lived with us, too) in our rancher and still be happy and sane, then I think it is clearly a choice to not be a home in order to pay for that great big house. Ooops! I think I got on my soapbox there.



  4. I loved this post. It is crazy with all the little kiddos and while at times I just want a moment's peace and silence, I can't imagine having it all the time. I feel sad for the ones who can't wait for school to start back after a break or dread long weekends because it means they're stuck with their children. They're really missing out. The children make you look at life alot differently and bring so much joy and excitement to every day life.

  5. Your love for your beautiful family shines so brightly through your writing. I am always amazed and sometimes a little envious of your lovely family. I am sure that by the time all your kids have flown the nest, there will be many wonderful grandchildren around to fill the silence.

  6. I remember the first night I spent by myself without Carrie in our old place by Lake Washington. Talk about all of the crazy sounds that you don't notice when there is someone else with you...!

  7. another great post! often on fridays, my inlaws will take the kids for over night. it's a nice change of pace, for awhile. give me my chaos back. i mean, give me my 4 kids back!
    i often pity people that make comments about 'how in the world will i deal with my kids during ALL of spring break/or other times?' we are grateful to savor every second, because they're growing too fast. (not that everyday is perfectly wonderful.. but in some ways it is. chaos and all)

  8. I have just found your blog and have loved reading about your large family (esp your dining table). I am an introvert, would rather sit quietly in a corner and read a book but I think I would miss my four rowdy boys too. I am just hoping the grandkids start visiting before my youngest leaves home. lol

    Best wishes
    Jen in Oz

  9. aww...gee...ain't that swell.

    Love ya, Mom!