But, oh how I wanted to have one today...
I decided, long about the time that the fourth kid came, when my first kid was ten, that I wasn't going to use the fact that we had a larger than average amount of children keep me from doing anything, or keep my kids from experiencing stuff. (Man, that's a long sentence.)
I made a firm promise to myself. I didn't want my kids to resent their siblings, to say that child X kept them from doing anything, that if only you didn't have the baby I could have done x/y/z. And that's a promise that I've stuck with, through thick and thin, even though it's caused me some stress and some angst and makes my life complicated. I still stand by it.
I knew what his work entailed when we were married. I was maybe a little unprepared for the reality of that as the family grew, for it's not the added baby that screws you up, but the schedules and needs of the older ones. A baby just kind of folds in, but those big kids, with their big mouths and their big sports and their big needs - those kids are the ones that cause me to wish desperately for a time/space shift just once.
I try, as much as I can, to avoid playing the I have six kids card. I don't want there to be any excuse, I don't want to hear Well, you shouldn't have had those kids, and I DEFINITELY don't want to hide behind my kids and make excuses. I hate to play that card - but I had to today - and I pissed some people off.
Riley had soccer pictures immediately after school. Mackenzie had a cross country meet at another school. Allegra had to be driven to the martial arts studio. Nik had to go to work. It was POURING rain. If Riley was able to get her picture taken first, and if I was able to get Mackenzie a ride, and if Allegra was ready when I got there - I could maybe make it back to the end of the race in time to see Mackenzie finish. I HATE to miss her races. I'm there for everyone else's games, practices, etc and I don't like to see her go to a race and have no one cheer for her. It's just not fair and she doesn't deserve it. When we went for the pictures, I had to ask to have Riley's taken first, so we could leave - and I could tell, there were some unhappy people. Some angry looks.
But what could I have done? I had to get home to get Allegra, drive her across town, get back to get Mackenzie, take everyone home, give them dinner (Thank GOD I always have extra spaghetti sauce in the freezer) and get back an hour later to get Allegra. I made it to the race in time to see Mackenzie cross the finish line, and as we walked back to the van - parked across the way in a grocery store lot because the school was too full - my eyes filled. But I don't DO pity parties and I will be damned if I'm going to feel sorry for myself and I swiped at the tears and bit my lip and moved on.
And then I remembered that we were out of V8 and milk and it's supposed to rain AGAIN tomorrow and Gabe has no rain coat and Allegra wanted boots and so I picked Allegra up and dropped everyone at home and went to Target...
Where there were no raincoats or boots. Payless, same thing. I called my husband in frustration but he couldn't talk and I decided to take my annoyed personality into Wal-Mart. I was feeling sorry for myself - because, really, this just SUCKS and it's hard to do all of this by myself and I'm so so so sick of it and I was ready for someone else to take over and I walked in through the doors...
and my feet slipped on the wet floor and I landed smack on my butt. And I just started to laugh.
Because, really, what else was there to do?