People ask many times,"how we do it, with 7 kids." The thought of balance and cleanliness, a sense of order and things going as planned is foreign to them, unimaginable really because the kids out number the adult and one of those parents leaves everyday, in order for the family to survive. So how does one mom handle 7? My responses have always been, "I couldn't do it without my older kids," "we grew into this family, it didn't just happen one day, it was gradual," and "train them, train them, it makes a difference." I truly meant those comments every time they were spoken, then last week John and Jacob were gone for 6 days, not long but long enough to know that I didn't appreciate them as much as I thought. They are my helpers, my babysitters, my strong arms, my runners, my go to guys when I need something done quickly and when they were gone, I will admit things got difficult and a little crazy. Daily life didn't work the same, little kids didn't act the same and some things got left undone. Many times during the week I found myself saying, "I didn't realize how much John and Jacob do."
The big boys' little vacation gave our family the opportunity to have a new oldest for a week and allowed both my girls to fill in and be the extra hands that I needed. Julia and Jillian, have big responsibilities and chores when our family is complete but I was not able to see what they couldn't do until the boys left and I realized where their training was lacking. They are both great at caring for their younger siblings and gravitate to that roll instead of the more physical and less pleasant jobs.
Letting any of my children go is always hard for me, but I am seeing the benefits in allowing them to leave. Not only were we more appreciative of them when they came home they were more appreciative of our home, the food we eat, the quietness of our land, the softness of their beds, and the normal that we create.