“By Myself” — In my 12.5 years of parenting, I have heard this phrase a million times as one of my toddlers has insisted on independence with picking out clothes or cracking eggs. Yet this phrase has taken on a WHOLE NEW meaning this week, as I (yes, just me!) have been all by myself. Well, other than some occasional time with Joe and cows.
How did a week without kiddos come to be?? Well, we sent them all over Iowa!
It started with Vince wanting to go to Dordt Discovery Days. It’s a Monday-Friday experience on a Christian college campus one hour from home and he was finally old enough to go. So, that took care of the 12-year-old and gave me 5 days of being in charge of his chicken and goat chores.
Liv, our 10-year-old, went to Inspiration Hills camp about 15 miles down the road from Vince. It was all spurred on by her best friend/cousin, and it was the week that worked for their family.
Then, Ava and Violet got quite jealous to hear of these trips and so a plan was devised to ask great-uncle Bill and great-aunt Sue to allow a week at their home in Ames. Bill and Sue are a fantastic family with a big heart for little kids, and it fit into their schedules so they agreed! They have been having way too much fun, from the looks of the photo texts I have gotten! They are busy putting together a photo album right now.
At one point, I thought this would finally be the year I go with my Youth Group kids from church to their week-long service project. The week coincided. Most years, I have to beg and plead with at least 7 people to find 2 chaperones but this year, 2 parents came forth all on their own. I took it as a sign that God wanted me to have this week for staying at home.
It has been crazy quiet with not nearly the laughter and teasing this home is accustomed to! I have been overly productive. It is hard to believe the number of things I have been able to accomplish. My nights have been jam-packed with things ranging from receiving cows at our dairy to our agricultural bank’s women’s appreciation night, to a long walk with a great friend. Also, a date night with Joe! The busyness has kept the loneliness at bay.
I wouldn’t trade this past week for anything. I have a feeling that each member of our family, especially me, has experienced a lot of personal growth. Yet, I am so excited for the chaos of laundry everywhere (have you ever had kids return from camp??!?), little ones insisting on making their own breakfast and our home filled with laughter once again! Bring on the rest of my day; it is time to have our family back together again!!!