Last night was the last Friday before school starts, and I spent it with three of my cousins. We hung out, ate junk food, went night time swimming, and enjoyed one last night of freedom! It will be awhile (probably Thanksgiving) before they all stay here again, and I'll miss them when they're gone.
During the school year I stay busy with work stuff, but I also still spend plenty of time running around after kids. I frequently have random children in the afternoon or evening, and I usually end up helping with homework. Which is always hilarious when I have to do math...because as much as I love pi, prime numbers, and long division...I pretty much suck at math. Then Doda, Jerry, and The Clone all play sports, so my auntie and I are always going to games. My auntie's youngest daughter coaches volleyball so we go to most of those games as well. Needless to say I stay pretty busy during the school year.
But it's lonely. Over the summer my house is full of noise and kids and laughing. Once school starts my family is dispersed and we don't really see each other unless it is at Family Dinner Night or at Saturday Morning Breakfast. Which, I know some people don't see their family often. Heck, some of you probably think I'm insane because I miss the all consuming noise that comes with an extra large family* like mine. And honestly, more often than not I have moments when I am just thinking "For the love of all that is good and holy, PLEASE just be quiet!" But a lot of times I just sit around and bask in the wonderful insanity that surrounds me most of the time.
So next week we all go back to school. We are excited and nervous and unsure of where we will stand. I will read through Doda and The Clone's reading lists with them. I will proof read multiple papers. I will read aloud with Erin. I will struggle through math homework. I will make T-Shirts that say embarrassing things like "Chelle Loves #42" and go to games and scream at the top of my lungs. Most importantly, I will enter a school building and introduce myself to four tweens/teens that I have never set eyes on before and convince them that I am on their side, that I will help them get through the school year, and that they can trust me with their most terrifying secrets as well as their hopes for a brighter future. The first few weeks I can promise you I will be longing for math homework.
*There are thirty members in what we consider our immediate family. This is my grandmother, her five children and their spouses, her grandchildren and their spouses, and her four great-grandchildren.